Bodies that bleed
Subvertir la literatura infantil: Un enfoque feminista para leer Angela Carter. It looks at two of her stories. Her stories do not simply reverse patriarchy but subvert it from within. Mira dos de sus historias.
Sus historias no solo revierten el patriarcado, sino que lo subvierten desde adentro. Moreover, its adaptations in adult literature have not been adequately researched. Nevertheless, the phrase itself, although fascinating, is somewhat loose and misleading.
And although it is ideally about children and written for children, one can read, interpret, classify, and comment on the value of this literature. In addition, writers targeting adults might incorporate into their works content or elements suitable for children or young adults.
Hence, Rudd concludes that the genre, by nature, remains a contested one:. Hunt: b. This literature is also expected to instruct its readers and enhance their social and personal skills as well as sharpen their creativity and cultural knowledge Crippen: ; Wisker: Hence, it is often assumed to be easy to read and to follow established, straightforward narration and involve suspense and happy endings. In other words, and in folk tales, in particular, characters are often flat or easily recognized as good or bad.
They are placed in fantastic situations that appeal to children and their rich imagination. For example, fairy tales and feminist criticism can have similar ends.
It is argued that Carter consciously does this so as to foreground the feminist potential and the ideological subtext of such stories. Hence, the relationship between gender studies and feminist theory is not exactly new. However,this article, like the Bhatt article, is mainly an overview of most of the stories Carter published in her collection The Bloody Chamber.
Since most recent articles on Carter tend to be overly theoretical and less practical, this article takes an alternative textual vision, closely reading two short stories and providing an applied aspect for the theory presented in the introductory part. However, it is assumed that what applies to such stories also applies to other rewritings of fairy and folk tales Carter attempted.
The fact that Crater has relied on and rewritten famous fairy tales may not be exactly new. It also has parallels with the Eastern collection of folk tales One Thousand and One Nights the Arabian Nights with the wife Scheherazade trying Adult wants real sex Carter avoid death at the hands of King Shahryar who ly murdered many wives. However, practical illustrations of how and why Carter has done this rewriting remain rare and inadequate.
This article is an attempt to fill this critical gap and be of help to both educators and literary critics. And compared with other Carter stories, they have received less critical attention. In fact, folk literature tolerates variations, adaptations, and revisions because in many cases it remains essentially an oral genre.
And regardless of minor variations and multiple translations and transformations, the essential storyline often remains unchanged. By contrast, Carter seems to make careful and pivotal changes to such fairy and folk tales. The changes she makes are substantial and goal-directed.
The next sections explore and substantiate such changes by looking at two practical examples. In each case, we will see that Carter modifies the plot and characters of established fairy tales to achieve feminist ends of subverting patriarchy from within and questioning its basic premises sexual or ideological.
This burgeoning subgenre is explicitly and unapologetically sexual. In traditional versions, sexual virtue becomes an important asset in such female figures. Moreover, they preach that evil, and jealous women get punished while good ones get rewarded through marriage to a young prince. Thus, fairy tales, and folk tales in general, enhance patriarchal ideologies on traditional gender roles and submissive females. They underlie sexual and gender-related overtones that require inspection. The 19th-century well-known German fairy tale was published in the Brothers Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm collection of fairy tales early in the 19th Adult wants real sex Carter.
Since then, it has undergone many adaptations and revisions in media and literature. Once upon a time in midwinter, when the snowflakes were falling like feathers from heaven, a queen sat sewing at her window, which had a frame of black ebony wood. As she sewed, she looked up at the snow and pricked her finger with her needle. Three drops of blood fell into the snow. The red on the white looked so beautiful that she thought to herself, If only I had as white as snow, as red as blood, and as black as the wood in this frame.
Apparently, sewing is a traditional, domestic profession of women across ages and something many feminists have repeatedly objected to. On the other hand, the story underlies implicit sexual symbolism Carter seems to have parodied in her revision. The queen pricks her finger with a needle, causing blood to drip on snow, which suggests menstruation, penetration, or defloration. After that, the queen dies, and the stepmother takes over.
It is the queen who desires a daughter with the features of snow-white before she dies in childbirth. The king marries a wicked woman while Snow White grows to be fairer with time. Trying to get rid of Snow White, the wicked queen poisons her, but Snow White survives the wicked schemes of this stepmother. A prince ultimately marries her. Besides, the ideals of youth, beauty, and innocence are implicitly presented as the desired ones for all girls. Carter uses such a motif from the fairy tale to write a counter-narrative to male patriarchal culture.
The story begins this way:. Midwinter — invincible, immaculate.
Bodies that bleed
The Count and his wife go riding, he on a grey mare and she on ablack one, she wrapped in the glittering pelts of black foxes; and she wore high, black, shining boots with scarlet heels and spurs. Fresh snow fell on snow already fallen; when it ceased, the whole world was white.
They ride on. They come to a hole in the snow; this hole is filled with blood. The girl is sexually objectified in being naked and possessing the feminine ideals of beauty desired by patriarchal culture. This child of his desire i. The story degenerates into a display of sexual rivalry.
Each time the Countess fails to get rid of the snow child, she loses one item of her luxurious clothes until she herself gets naked. Carter uses clothes to figure a shift in power relations and a move from agency to lack thereof.
Thus, the girl is made a victim of a phallic symbol, the thorn. The girl then melts and disappears to the extent that nothing is left of her but a bloodstain, a feather, and a trace. In a sense, and as a trace of life, she is reduced to an aborted. She is neither rewarded with marriage nor saved by the Count as in the original story. The Countess disapproves of a relation with the girl while alive and only allows sexual intercourse with her after her death. The loss of innocence or virginity alled by bleeding and pricking counters the rewards of virtue we witness in traditional fairy tales.
And the sexual violation of the dead girl adds a necrophilic dimension to the story, something absolutely unexpected in a traditional fairy tale. Such graphic sexuality undermines androcentric s of sexuality with the male being active and the female being passive to the extent of death in this case. The girl suddenly disappears just as she appeared, and the Countess has clothed again, i. And the Snow Child is not rewarded by marriage to a prince. On the other hand, the Countess is not punished for her evil intentions.
Hence, Carter consciously modifies the plot and characterization of fairy tales for certain ends. Conventional gender roles are followed here. Rather, she is sexually violated after death. Before her bleeding and death, she pricks her finger on a thorn, an act which can also be sexually symbolic and indicative of loss of virginity or the onset of menstruation.
In fact, the whiteness of snow has always suggested purity and chastity against the sexual symbolism of the red colour of blood. Hence, Carter foregrounds and transforms the sexual symbolism of the traditional fairy tales. The young princess pricks herself on a needle and sleeps for years before a handsome prince kisses her back to life and breaks the spell of the wicked fairy.
Carter intentionally changes such an end not simply to oppose patriarchy but to make us ponder the foundations of male dominance over women. The Snow Child does not turn out to be a wicked Adult wants real sex Carter casting a curse on the Count or his wife because Carter wants to make her avoid stereotypical images of women in literature and culture, i.
Rather, the Count and his wife are allowed to construct her identity as they wish while she remains silent and passive.
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The wife sees in her a rival, and the husband sees in her an object of sexual desire or the surrogate incarnation of what he lacks. That the girl simply disappears might indicate that she is an evasive category not abiding by their prejudiced constructions of her. It is the Count and his wife who conceive of the Snow Child in conventional and even stereotypical terms, which comments on the pervasive ideologies shaping the images of women despite their will. Apparently, the Count and his wife are less couple, and the sudden appearance of the Snow Child might be the fulfilment of an adult sexual fantasy.