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?

Monday, 18 June 2012

The Snow Child


The features of gothic that we looked at all surrounded the themes of supernatural monsters, ancient medieval architecture and the more dominant themes of death and blood. We also looked at the most common language features of gothic too which is the excess and exaggeration of feelings and emotion, for example there is no like or dislike or perhaps even love, but only lust and obsession or burning hatred. This ensures the readers emotions become excessive and therefore become immersed in the story.


After looking at the snow child we discussed which parts of it were parts of the gothic culture. The appearance of the countess at the beginning, all clothed in black as they left an ancient medieval castle, planted the story firmly in the gothic culture, while the unrealistic apparition of “the snow child” emphasised the Gothic characteristics.

Angela Carter states that “My intention was not to do 'versions' or, as the American edition of the book said, horribly, 'adult' fairy tales, but to extract the latent content from the traditional stories and to use it as the beginnings of new stories.” We see clearly from “The Snow Child” that it is not a remake or a gruesome rendition but it took the characteristics and distributed them through the other characters. Such as the sick nature of queen from the actual story is given to the count from “The Snow Child” while the character that plays snow white still embodies innocence and trust.

Ray T


  1. This is a good blog Ray, I like the fact that you mentioned how Carter extracts latent content from fairy tales, to then create almost new stories, whilst still holding on to some sense of the original telling.

  2. Makes sense to me.
    You gave a good overview of the Gothic style of writing which was enough for me to catch up from the lesson i have missed.

  3. This blog helps to sum up the lesson and along with the reading material helps to give me a better understanding of The Snow Child. Also, the latent content that Carter picks out from the original story helps to set them apart and give this story a more gothic feel.

  4. Short but sharp blog Ray, covering what we did in the class. I agree very much with Jess, about how Carter "extracts the "latent content from traditional stories" in order to filter out the Gothic aspects of a fairytale. In addition, we read a short dialogue called There was once by Margaret Atwood. One may perceive this extract to be Atwood's attempt in knocking down the typical stereotypes of the features in a fairytale. Indeed, Atwood challenges the description of characters and setting as these fairy tales don't match the society we live in today. For example, a black girl may not feel she is beautiful due to the recurring white skin that the main female has in all the fairy tales.

  5. I like this blog Ray, it seems to summarise the reading sheet nicely. Lisa makes a valid point about Atwood's piece representing her bid to eliminate strong stereotypes that are very much fixed to fairy tales. I like the idea of the the Count taking on the typical sick nature that is usually possessed by the Countess or "wicked stepmother". Finally, reading this has made me realise the notion that in Gothic feelings never come in halfs, for instance the idea of it not being like or dislike, but instead lust/obsession or burning hatred.


  6. Good recap on the overall lesson, specifically the features of Gothic. I also agree with Jessica's point based on Carter extracting "latent content from fairy tales" as I feel she often includes rather precise details.


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