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MAJOR THEMES IN THE BLOODY CHAMBER Bloody Chambers A place where violence & enlightenment occur at the same

e time Bloody Chambers are often connected with not only the blood of violence but also the blood shed when a woman loses her virginity & when she menstruates. It can also refer to the vagina or womb. Carter uses this to underscore the connection between womans sexuality & the violence they experience. IN THE BLOODY CHAMBER: In the Bloody Chamber is the marquis chamber of torture & death. When the heroine fins it, she put herself in danger of being killed but also gains the knowledge to prevent her death. The critic Moore, states that the key to the bloody chamber is the key to her selfhood seeing her fate she realises her life has become one of objectification & subjugation that will ultimately lead to her death. IN THE COURTSHIP OF MR. LYON: It is the Beasts room. Although it does not lead to any violence, it serves as a symbol of his violent attitude & reputation. His room is seen as a place of terror. It is also a place of transformation for both himself and the heroine. Realisation of love in that room also occurs. IN THE TIGERS BRIDE: The Beasts room acts as the bloody chamber because it is where the beast devours his prey the floor is littered with bones. It is also there where the girl turns unto a tigress and thereby learns her true identity. IN THE SNOW CHILD: It could be considered as both the hole in the snow that the Count & Countess ride past as well as the girls vagina. The Count sees both of these bloody chambers as objects for him to enjoy. The Countess is the one who gains knowledge - the Countess realises that the rose bites 0 the price of being a mans object is the pain of subservience and the loss of identity. IN THE WEREWOLF: Grandmas house. She makes it so by disfiguring and then killing her grandmother. It is then in this blood chamber that she is able to enjoy her life. IN WOLF-ALICE: The Dukes castle. Virginity Many of the heroines are virgins and many more are implied to be. In some instances, the male characters perceive the heroines virginity as an invitation for corruption. On the same note, it is an invitation for violence because in taking the girls virginity, he spills her blood. For example, when the Marquis rapes the heroine, he is described as impaling her. The heroine/heros virginity is a source of protection and strength. See The Company of Wolves and The Lady of the House of Love and The Tigers Bride. When the narrators reveal that virginity is lost, either symbolically or literally they release a transformative power. According to Carter: virginity is a source of strength because it is power in potentia similar to water pent up behind a dam, it is stronger than water that is not being restrained.

The Pornographic Imagery Carter explores the idea of pornography and its presence in everyday life through the objectification of women.

Pornographic imagery is created when one person is undressed and the other is not. The clothed person who is the human master has power over the naked character that is an animal or slave. Note: The Bloody Chamber the girl is described as a lamb chop and an engraving named the Reproof of Curiosity which is an engraving of a man masturbating whilst whipping a naked woman. Carter divulges in the consequences of becoming excited at such pornographic imagery such as its consequences, the objectification and consequent subjugation of women. In The Bloody Chamber tale, this is shown in the Marquis chamber of his dead wives. She realises that for the Marquis, erotic and violent desires are inextricable.

The Liminal Experience Liminal spaces traditionally give the occupant both power and torment. By existing in two states or being two things simultaneously, the occupant has qualities of both. At the same time, he or she is condemned never to be fully accepted in either state. Carter explores this through half-beings such as werewolves, vampires and WolfAlice where the hyphen emphasises this. The Objectification of Women Part of the latent content of fairy tales that she exposed, as she claimed, simply by virtue of being a woman In the Bloody Chamber: most obvious objectified female in the novelette. The heroine is made into a pornographic image, made to wear a collar like a dog, he also plans to turn her into a literal object a corpse which he will display in his chamber. In The Snow Child: she is created as a sex toy and when she disappears into a collection of objects. She does not always condemn the man, she also repeatedly suggests that women are complicit with their own objectification. E.g. in The Bloody Chamber the girl and the mother see marriage to the Marquis as a way of getting out of poverty, the young woman in puss-in-boots is married to Signor Panteleone for money and status etc etc. Mirrors Carter experiements with mirror images as well as physical mirrros throughout the book. In her stories she calls to attention the mirroring in her sources, where good and evil, human and animal, Beauty and Beast are irreconcilable opposites. In The Bloody Chamber the Marquis surrounds the bridal chamber with mirrors which subsequently mean that his pornographic images are repeated twelve times. This also allows her to enjoy the sight of herself as a pornographic image by being aroused however it also allows her to understand that she enjoys being objectified and comes to realise her complicity in her own destruction.


Carter uses roses throughout the book to represent the women who give or receive them, the rose or any flower is often used as a symbol of the vagina as well as one of idealised femininity. The Beautys rose grows unnaturally in the middle of winter, yet it is still perfect; it represents her unspoiled, gentle, virgin self. In The Tigers Bride and The Snow Child, the heroines prick their fingers on roses.

Violence and Sex\Love In the stories, Carter poses the idea that sex\love and violence are inextricable. In The Bloody Chamber, the Marquis favourite quote is There is a striking resemblance between the act of love and he ministrations of a torturer which suggests that the sex act is inseparable from the act of murder which we see reflected in the heroines diction when she describes the loss of her virginity as impalement