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Critical essays on angela carter ed. by lindsey tucker 1998

By examining male domination in society and literary works, feminist stylistics tries to present a counter-image of women both in language and social construction. Ten stories in the collection handle the topics of marriage, sexuality, gender roles, and female liberty with a subverting point of view. Feminism —parallel with feminist criticism— was one of the prominent voices that stood against the dominating powers, especially patriarchy.

In terms of the intention of women writers to retell the texts serving for patriarchal power, it could be said that fairy tales took the leading place. Fairy tales that go beyond being a part of certain cultures have the significant effect to reflect the background of a society, and also to contribute to the creation of a collective unconscious. When Carl Jung published studies in the first half of the twentieth century that stressed the substantial impact of collective unconscious, and its certifying elements that are the archetypes found as common representatives in different cultures, the myths, legends and fairy tales became more of an issue for feminist criticism to analyze the discourses of patriarchal power.

In this respect, the feminist novelist Angela Carter —in her collection of short fiction The Bloody Chamber published in — retold traditional fairy tales known and even internalized by many people.

  1. Besides, internal processes such as to feel and to sense are externalized. Critical Survey Oxford, England , Vol.
  2. Critical essays on angela carter, lindsey tucker, 1998 , angela carter. Curriculum vitae beth a boehm chapter in critical essays on angela carter, ed lindsey tucker new york.
  3. U67033 the culture of modernity semester 2 politics and culture - w a speck 1998 0582265185,0582265703 critical essays on angela carter - lindsey tucker.
  4. The work was marked by optimism and humor.
  5. Carter's other works include translations of Charles Perrault's fairy tales 1979 , Bloody Chamber 1979 , a collection of stories retelling classic fairy tales, and an anthology of subversive stories by women. Re-writing fairy-tales from a feminist point of view, Carter argued that one can find from both literature and folklore "the old lies on which new lies are based.

This latent content that establishes the collective unconscious of humanity about female and male identities and their stereotypical characteristics is challenged by Carter in these short stories with a new representation of female and male characters.

She states her concern as follows: The earlier representation of female and male figures in fairy tales are explicitly presented as an achievement of patriarchal power by Carter. By challenging the archetypal characters and stereotypical female and male figures, Carter re-examines the themes of marriage, sexuality, power relations between females and males, gender roles, and female liberty.

Standing against the oppression by males, she announces the liberation of females in fairy tales. At the beginning of her book, Mills explains the concern of feminist stylistic analysis as follows: While feminist criticism aims to deconstruct the established gender roles and identities in content with discourse analysis, feminist stylistics focuses on both discourse and also the way and style in which the discourse is revealed.

Critical essays on angela carter ed. by lindsey tucker 1998

A Feminist Stylistic Approach. Thus, the relationship between language and social forces gives the approaches, including feminist stylistics, the opportunity to adopt a political perspective against the ideological messages inserted in texts.

This is the significant notion Althusser and Foucault theorized about and many feminists improved their theories. As it is well-accepted now, ideology and literature as its apparatus, inject restrictive, oppressive, and controlling social meanings and structures into the collective unconscious of societies. For this reason, the ideology that is buried within language is the main rival against which feminist stylistics attacks.

Adopting a political stance, feminist stylistics […] aims to lead stylistics away from analysis of the language of the text, as if that language were simply there, to an analysis of socioeconomic factors which have allowed that language to appear, or which have determined its appearance, or which have determined the type of interpretations of that text which are possible.

Many feminists find fairy tales as male fantasies on female and sexist discourses, as they encourage or imply the oppression of female sexism. Thus, by narrating her-story pro se, the female voice exercises power in these stories, in the words of Terry Eagleton.

As a female writer deconstructing fairy tales previously written by males, Carter has subverted the representational female and male characters.

  1. Before starting her English studies at the University of Bristol, Carter worked for the Croydon Advertiser and wrote features and record reviews. She received the patricia christmore junior faculty award in 1989 reprinted in critical essays on angela carter ed lindsey tucker new york.
  2. When the active and passive roles of females are depicted in the three stories, one comes to the conclusion that those stories begin with passivity but end with activity on the side of females. The masquerader in the garden.
  3. Curriculum vitae beth a boehm chapter in critical essays on angela carter, ed lindsey tucker new york. By challenging the archetypal characters and stereotypical female and male figures, Carter re-examines the themes of marriage, sexuality, power relations between females and males, gender roles, and female liberty.
  4. The american enterprise institute, ed olsen 3 norman j ornstein american essays article blog
  5. Dora and Nora Chance, the "wise children" of the title, are twins, illegitimate daughters of a famous Shakespearean actor.

The reader therefore adopts a new and radical awareness of genderlect. It is a well-accepted notion that although some fairy tales seem to address both females and males, in many of them the addressee is females. Especially in the first-person narrations, the style appears female-oriented. I remember how, that night, I lay awake in the wagon-lit in a tender, delicious ecstasy of excitement, my burning cheek pressed against the impeccable linen of the pillow and the pounding of my heart mimicking that of the great pistons ceaselessly thrusting the train that bore me through the night, away from Paris, away from girlhood, away from the white, enclosed quietude of my mother's apartment, into the unguessable country of marriage.

The tone and length of the sentence indicate the unpredictable process of the marriage and put a negative suspicion on marriage. The story begins as follows: My father lost me to The Beast at cards. Subsequent references to The Bloody Chamber will be to this edition and will be included in the text. The lucidity, the clarity of the light that afternoon was sufficient to itself; perfect transparency must be impenetrable, these vertical bars of a brass-coloured distillation of light coming down from sulphur-yellow interstices in a sky hunkered with grey clouds that bulge with more rain.

The trees threaded a cat's cradle of half-stripped branches over me so that I felt I was in a house of nets and though the cold wind that always heralds your presence, had I but known it then, blew gentle around me, I thought that nobody was in the wood but me. The Erl-King will do you grievous harm. Still, Carter challenges the attitude of the reader afterwards by changing the events, and she finishes the story with a totally different conclusion.

Rather than expressing emotion, the scene is given in a filmographic way as a natural incident, not less natural than male-murderers in fairy tales. Thus, the style of earlier fairy tales as masculine turns into a feminine discourse and stereotypes are deconstructed.

II- Analysis at the Level of the Word Whether language produces our perception of gender roles and sexism or it is a consequence of sexism in community is a contradictive issue. That critical essays on angela carter ed. by lindsey tucker 1998 the reason why feminists require a language reform based firstly on the words. It seems that she adopts the adjectives attributed to her by the outer world. On the other hand, the man she gets F.

Nor in the other two stories do the female narrators mention their names. Furthermore, Carter uses the common naming styles in these stories to create an atmosphere of a fairy tale, but later on, by transmitting the well-known ends into subversive alternatives, she challenges the male-dominated ideology.

By examining different words used for the genitals of females and males, Mills emphasizes the androcentric naming of them Mills, In this respect, Carter clearly gives connotations of female sexuality to naturalize the sexual experiences and femininities of women.

At this point, the general tendency to ignore sexuality that is in fact inherent in traditional fairy tales is deconstructed and made explicit by Carter. Thus, the taboos related to female experience such as loss of virginity or menstruation in another story is aimed to be demystified in these stories. The themes that Carter tries to depict in her stories are greatly supported by metaphors. The metaphors, by compensating meanings into one word, and the metonymies, by displacing one word with another, have great impact on both the unconscious of the individual and the collective unconscious of society.

The narrations in folk traditions, here the fairy tales, play a significant role in strengthening and transforming the meanings inherited in metaphors.

Firstly, in many fairy tales, males and male sexuality are described with animal metaphors. The animal-like males who represent power and supremacy are demystified by Carter at the end of these stories by being murdered by female characters. Sara Mills explains how male sexuality is described with animal metaphors as follows: Mills,Animal metaphors are used on behalf of patriarchy in traditional fairy tales. The female characters are taken into closed spaces from the outer world by marriage or marriage-like intercourses.

Critical essays on Angela Carter

Additionally, the castle at which she arrives is a place of female confinement that carries the burden of wifehood and motherhood: To which, one day, I might bear an heir. She refers to the castle with other metaphors and phrases such as: This is a melancholy, introspective region; a sunless, featureless landscape, the sullen river sweating fog, the shorn, hunkering willows. And a cruel city; the sombre piazza, a place uniquely suited to public executions, under the heeding shadow of that malign barn of a church.

In relation to marriage, F. The flower metaphor is another converted element in the stories. In traditional narrations, flowers are related to females with some connotations such as naivety, pureness and fragility. By playing with established metaphors, she demystifies the earlier gendered assumptions in fairy tales. By giving a schema representing material and mental processes in a narration, she proposes to analyze a text at the level of sentence.

Besides, internal processes such as to feel and to sense are externalized. In traditional fairy tales, the protagonist whose actions and feelings are presented by an omniscient narrator —who is the voice of patriarchy— is mostly pictured as the passive object exposed to the actions of the outer world. An analysis at the syntactic level would clearly reveal this passiveness apparently, which makes the subject of another detailed study.

When the active and passive roles of females are depicted in the three stories, one comes to the conclusion that those stories begin with passivity but end with activity on the side of females.

I saw the gaunt Erl-King, tall as a tree with birds in its branches, and he drew me towards him on his magic lasso of inhuman music. His skin covers me entirely 89 I should like to grow enormously small, so that you could swallow me 89 His touch both consoles and devastates me 89 Your green eye is a reducing chamber.

If I look into it long enough, I will become as small as my own reflection, I will diminish to a point and vanish. I will be drawn down into that black whirlpool and be consumed by you.

I shall become so small you can keep me in one critical essays on angela carter ed. by lindsey tucker 1998 your osier cages and mock my loss of liberty.

By converting passive recipients that are females into active agents after a while, she presents a deliberate transitivity choice related to her feminist concerns. She becomes the agent to make decisions and to take action. No, I would not dress for dinner. She makes a fatal decision and proceeds to action: This action strips her from her established role as a passive submitter: I felt no fear, no intimation of dread.

Now I walked as firmly as I had done in my mother's house. When the protagonist loses all her power as soon as her husband discovers she has objected to his authority, her sentences reflect passivity once more: I had been tricked into my own betrayal to that illimitable darkness whose source I had been compelled to seek in his absence […].

On her eighteenth birthday, my mother had disposed of a man-eating tiger that had ravaged the villages in the hills north of Hanoi. Now, without a moment's hesitation, she raised my father's gun, took aim and put a single, irreproachable bullet through my husband's head.

I shall take two huge handfuls of his rustling hair […] and wind them into ropes […] and, softly, with hands as gentle as rain, I shall strangle him with them. Then she will open all the cages and let the birds free […]. When analyses at the level of word and phrase-sentence are made, the data reveal a particular knowledge on the discourse within the stories. Therefore, an analysis at the level of discourse will mostly reflect the ideology in these stories and will be feminine discourse-oriented.

IV- Analysis at the Level of Discourse It is inevitable that a feminist stylistic analysis should use discourse analysis to depict the explicit or implicit meanings and ideologies in a narration. The characters and gender roles constitute the most significant part of an analysis at the level of discourse. Sara Mills states that characters and gender roles that are attributed to them in texts are related to ideological concerns to a great extent, so they are just constructions: Characters are made of words, they are not simulacra of humans —they are simply words which the reader has learned how to construct into a set of ideological messages drawing on her knowledge of the way that texts have been written and continue to be written, and the views which are circulating within society about how women and men are.

To examine female and male characters in relation to certain topics will be illuminating to the messages Carter tries to deliver. The main topics in these stories are: The common problem in these stories is that the female characters experience a kind of confinement as a result of marriage or a similar association.

Color imagery critical essays on angela carter ed. by lindsey tucker 1998 to strengthen the theme of marriage as constraining, and the color red representing blood, wound, and death indicates the death of female desire, freedom, and self-actualization in male-dominant marriages.

The feeling of confinement is related to sexual roles and female sexuality in general, which is another main topic in the stories. Traditional fairy tales implicitly picture female characters as exposed to male sexuality and male sexual appetite.