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In The Bloody Chamber, childhood fairytales become the stuff of adult nightmares.

With close reference to at least two stories, discuss how far you agree with this statement.
To start with, I think it is important to take into account not only the original roots of the stories and classic fairy tales, but also the original intent of the creators themselves, to give us a view of Carters twist on each one. For example, we can look at the titular story by Carter, The Bloody Chamber itself, and can be interpreted as a more modernised, culturally-influenced take on the story of Bluebeard, written in 1697 by Charles Perrault. While the original story itself bears many hallmarks of Gothic literature, such as the chamber in question, Bluebeards eloquent ways of marrying dashing young ladies only to horribly murder them in the bowels of his mansion of his own Hellish design. Many of Angela Carters reimagining of the old fairytales possesses all the hallmarks of strong significant Gothic influences in some parts which help add to the dark undertones of the stories. In the Bloody Chamber, there are elements of transgression, which can be taken from the Marquis, such as the way his murderous acts of depraved perversion transgress hugely from his social status as an aristocrat, therefore breaking social norms. Another example of the theme of transgression in the story is the blurring of the boundary between the living and the dead, depicted in the Marquiss chamber. Similar to the theme of transgression is the ongoing theme of fear and the creation of a deeply unsettling atmosphere; this is created by Carter to enhance the horrific gravity of the plight that she is in, in TBC; Yet at the centre of the room lay a catafalque, a doomed, ominous bier of Renaissance workmanship, surrounded by long white candles and, at its foot, an armful of the same lilies with which he had filled my bedroom, stowed in a four-foothigh jar glazed with a sombre Chinese red. The use of imagery and metaphor in the renditions of the old fairytales by Carter help to form it into a more haunting and overall more adult piece due to the use of metaphor linking the two main characters to various objects, e.g. using that example, the sombre Chinese red would add to the already predominant and strong theme of blood throughout the book. Continuing from that example, the long, white candles helps to add to a more adult interpretation of the story due another major theme of the The Bloody Chamber, sexual and lusty imagery. I think that the use by Carter of the gothic elements such as these help transform the original childhood fairytales from the original, innocent stories to a darker, more twisted take on them. However this point can obviously

be disputed as tales such as Bluebeard werent particularly innocent or devoid of depravity in the first place. However, Carter has made a large impact in giving the story a revitalising yet sinister restoration, and an overall more nightmarish feel. If we look at another story, such as The Snow Child (which is apparently a very obscure and ambiguous take on Snow White) a lot of characteristics of the gothic are prominent throughout; the story is extremely short, yet manages to include the common gothic themes of blood and gore, supernatural tendencies, even necrophilia. Such quotations like He says I wish I had a girl as red as blood. highlight the emerging themes, and, like The Bloody Chamber itself, has a heavy fixation on blood, which is a focal point all the way through; a bloodstain, like the trace of a foxs kill on the snow and pricks her finger on the thorn; bleeds; screams; falls. These two examples of metaphor and imagery, like in the TBC, help to enhance the original tale of Snow White, which is, like Bluebeard, on the whole a lot more innocent and childlike (even though there are morbid and Gothic themes echoing through that story too.) To summarise, I would agree that the idea of childhood fairytales becoming the stuff of adult nightmares is an authentic point to consider when studying Angela Carters works, as both the original tales lacked most of the nightmarish and terrifying aspects that Carters modernised take on them has included, even though they still incorporated various elements of the Gothic.