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?

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. 


  1. Carter's use of transformation is essential to her portrayal of genders, and their importance to society. this is clearly seen in both of the tiger story's. In "The tiger's bride" the transformation is of the woman's transformation into a tiger. "as each stroke of his tongue ripped off skin after successive skin" this method of transformation could be implying the male's dominance and their wish for the male to alter themselves for the man's desire, furthermore the use of the word "successive" could represent the fact that this transformation born from the will of men happens repetitively throughout the world. although in "the courtship of Mr Lyon" the transformation is from a beast to a human being, this could be Carter's representation of male lambhood, and subserviance to the tigerish females.
    Ray T

  2. In The Company of Wolves, Carter utilises a method of transformtation to reveal the girl's adolescence in starting her mesntruation. Through the extensive use of metaphors, Carter emphasises the girl's virginity and her starting to require sexual desires. This can be seen through Carter's repetetive language; "she is an unbroken egg".