The Purpose of this Blog

Your task on this blog is to write a brief summary of what we learned in class today. Include enough detail so that someone who was ill or missed the lesson can catch up with what they missed. Over the course of the term, these 'class scribe' posts will grow to be a guide book for the course, written by students for students.

With each post ask yourself the following questions:
1) Is this good enough for our guide book?
2) Will your post enable someone who wasn't here to catch up?
3) Would a graphic/video/link help to illustrate what we have learned?

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

The Bloody Chamber

In lesson today, we looked at three different reviews written in response to the book's symbolism and manipulation of both traditional roles created through norms and stereotypes, and Carter's adaption of the typical Fairy tale genre through extracting latent content from the original story, to create a new telling which has a shift in focus.

The main points found from the reviews were:

- The book challenges/pushes the boundaries of norms, and in doing so strpis the story down in a 'matter of fact' way, which manipulates traditonal characters = "Carter manages to twist the once innocent fairy tales"/ "She challenges the structure of patriarchy".

- Challenges typical patriarchal rules within society, and highlights the oppression of women = "challenges notions of male superiority and the objectification of women"

By reading the opening pages to 'The Bloody Chamber', we found that the female character's destiny could be seen as meaning she must delve into the unknown, and in turn leave her girlhood behind.
Also, the idea that her new life and setting is "beyond the grasp of my imagination", makes it seem like a "magic place, the fairy castle" which links to the idea that because magic and fairy stories are not seen as real, they require imagination to bring them to life. Therefore, the fact that this is beyond her imagination, can empahsise her movement towards the unknown.
Carter's stories also often break free from the traditonal conventions and has blurry distinctions,meaning that there is no clear distinction between the stories' break away from the norms.



  1. This blog summarises all the main activities that we did in class based on gender roles. Particularly n the second page of The Bloody Chamber, most things are said to in liminal (transition) state. For example, Beauty narrates "teasingly carressed me, egregious" and "kiss with tongue and teeth in it". One could suggest that Carter is encapsulating Beauty's climax that entails the liminal space of pain and pleasure.
    Male desire of young woman can be seen when the narrator states "He was older than I... much older than I".

  2. As I wasn't in for the lesson, this blog really helped me to find out what you learnt. When reading the criticisms of 'The Bloody Chamber' I found similar interpretations. I thought Carter used her status of a great writer to manipulate the characters/situations and in tow entwine her own feminist beliefs of gender roles into the narrative.


  3. I was able to catch up by reading this blog. I agree with the first review, as I feel Carter challenges what are considered as 'norms' in each of the short stories we have looked at so far.


  4. This blog gives a really good overview of what we did in class. Even though the story does show male superiority, it also challenges it by portraying the girls mother as a symbol of feminism. She possesses all the traits which show her to be someone who challenges societal views of gender representation.


  5. Mumtaz i agree with your point of the girls mother challenging stereotypes of gender representation, although that could be because of the girls fathers death and has teaken on the role of a dominant protective father, as could be seen by the symbol of the revolver on the mothers waist. To me this isnt seen to be in imprortant until the confrontation between the husband and mother, as we see the castle and sea as protection for the girl until we realise that instead of offering protection it is more like a prison

    Ray T