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?

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

The Gothic: Intertextuality Across Wolf Stories

‘In a Freudian, psychoanalytical interpretation, the wolf in fairy tales represents a coded acknowledgement of the dangers of suppressed or repressed sexual desire. As the embodiment of specific and immediate danger, the wolf is an ever present predator.’
  Steve Roberts, York Notes Advanced

Key question: To what extent does the wolf represent suppressed or repressed sexual desire?

Add your paragraphs below as comments, focusing on meeting the below success criteria.

1.Maintain constant focus on the question. Use the words from the question. ‘Violence’ or ‘excessive’ or ‘death’ ‘release’ ‘instinct’
2.Use at least 6 textual references per paragraph. (Can be short)
3.Analyse quotes for micro and macro. (Lang/structure) Name specific features (imagery, personification, antithesis, symbolism, metaphor etc) and pick key words
4.Sprinkle a small amount of relevant context (either Gothic- Goya, Otranto, ‘The Nightmare’- context or S/H context). Don’t bolt on.
5.Reference a critic or view. Use language that shows there is a debate – ‘arguably, could, might suggest, seems to,
6.EVAULATE different views and link to text. 

Sunday, 15 July 2012

'Wolf-Alice' by Angela Carter

Key Question: How does Carter synthesise the symbols and characteristics of transformation from The Bloody Chamber in ‘Wolf-Alice’?

In ‘Wolf-Alice’, Carter’s use of mirrors and natural cycles reveals cultural anxieties about discovering identity through transformations. Wolf-Alice ‘would have called herself a wolf’ despite being a human because she identifies herself as a wolf. When she first encounters a mirror, ‘she tried to nuzzle her reflection’, demonstrating that she does not recognise her reflection. As a symbol of rationality, the mirror shows her physical transformation from girl to woman. Following her first menstruation cycle, Wolf-Alice recognises herself: ‘her relation with the mirror was now far more intimate since she saw herself in it’. The use of comparative language shows how Wolf-Alice changes as she begins puberty. Often seen as a taboo subject, Carter uses Gothic tropes of naive, virginal females and wolves to highlight the problem of talking about and exploring menstruation cycles.

Write the next paragraph answering the same question. Remember to cover all AOs. 

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

'The Company of Wolves'

How does Carter write about sexual intercourse and why does she do this?
Write a paragraph covering all AOs with six pieces of evidence.

Link to 'Vampire Weakened' article from the Guardian:

Thursday, 5 July 2012

The Bloody Chamber part 2

Sorry for the late blog lads.

In this lesson we focsed on the ways and methods that Carter portrays the exploitation of women where we turned our attention to this quote:

"Carter’s talent as a writer enables her to utilise the most vivid and violent use of imagery and language to demonstrate the way in which women have been exploited in western society."

We can see clearly that the exploitation of women is a main focus in her work and her vivid and violent imagery really emphasises this. We looked deeper into this with a task to rank the types of figures that would be likely to find in her stories. We found that a 'female victim' is the most common figure under the constraints of a 'patriarchal male'; as well as a 'female hero' which in turn fits Carter's femminist view of women breaking free from patriarchy. In addition we found that the most unlikely figure would be a 'heroic male' where we find the piano tuner, the only male that could be of help to the protagonist, was blind so in fact was helpless but her mother culminates to be her saviour which also shows Carters play on stereotypical sex roles.

 Imagery is the main way that Carter draws us into her gothic diegiesis where she uses many different types of imagery: 

Visual imagery - sight
Auditory imagery - sound
Gustatory imagery - taste
Tactile imagery - touch
Olfactory imagery - smell
kinastetic imagery - movement

Imagery – the use of language to represent objects, actions, feelings, thoughts, ideas, states and experiences.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Marquis de sade, feminism and Moral Pornography.

Our learning objective was to:
- understand the term 'moral pornographer' and evaluate its relevance in The Bloody Chamber.

A debate between Gail Dines and Anna Arrowsmith highlighted two very important arguments as to whether Pornography objectifies women, or in fact poses as a way to weaken the industry and interject with women's views.

Gail Dines says that women are without a doubt 'systematically descriminated against' with pornography adding to this and 'shaping the way men think about women'. This allows people to believe women's objectification is acceptable within society, believing porn to be 'the commodification of sexuality'. She also hit out at Anna Arrowsmith claiming that Pornography certainly does not empower women and in fact as an empowered woman herself, she feels she has a 'duty' to use her 'privilege to fight for women who are descriminated against'. And it seems clear that Anna Arrowsmith 'misrepresents the lives of women in the industry'.

However, Anna Arrowsmith refuted this with her argument in which she believes women can change the way they are seen in society by having a say within the Pornography industry. She argued specifically that 'anti-porn groups in fact encourage women to see themselves as victims' when they could instead take a very passive and involved approch to change things. Although her argument was rather contradictory, I personally feel, she did make a vaild point that 'if you hand over all sexual imagery to men, you hand over that power'.

What is a Moral Pornographer?
  1. Uses pornographic material to show that all genders can possess a sexual licence.
  2. May uses pornography to critique current relations between men and women, and the physical abuse experienced by women in phallocentric cultures.
  3. Employs pornography to show women who grab their own sexuality and fight back, who also may be powered by their own violence.