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How Far Do You Agree That, in the Stories in the Bloody Chamber, Angela Carter Presents a Sinister Distortion of Family Relationships?

In: English and Literature

Submitted By PocketFell
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It is certainly possible to argue that Angela Carter presents a large number of family relationships in a sinister and distorted manner. Many, though not all, of her stories feature family structures lacking any of the traditional bonds and affections which typically accompany a family. In stories such as the titular Bloody Chamber, The Werewolf and Wolf Alice, Carter presents a wide variety of distorted family relationships.
“There was a bloody stump where her right hand should have been, festering already.”- These lines are what reveal Carter’s truly horrific distortion of a family relationship. This is where it is revealed that the grandmother who Red is visiting has attempted to kill her, and the lack of emotional language is what truly reveals this to be true. Not only does Red allow the villagers to “pelt her [grandmother] with stones until she fell down dead” but she also moves into the home of her grandmother and “prospered.” The stark words of the final statement, ending with “prospered” allows a reader to see that there was no love between these two members of the family, as Red is willing to ignore the memory of her grandmother to not only survive in the place where she struggled to survive, but also to live well there. By doing this, Carter not only suggests that it is impossible for generations of women to do well without destroying one another, as society isn’t able to accept the changing perceptions women have of the world, and so younger women learn to exploit that. By having the narrator be a voice which is neither of the characters, Carter allows them to form their own opinion of the events. By saying that people in the “northern country” have “cold hearts” then this suggests that they do not approve of the fact that Red has no attachment to her grandmother, but by saying that she was brave (“any but a mountaineer’s child would have died of fright…...

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