Characters

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  • Characters
    • Narrator Protagonist
      • The new bride, 'The Bloody Chamber'
        • Recalls loss of innocence
          • Flashbacks of individual memories on the train
        • Character of sensations
          • 'Impeccable linen of the pillow'
            • But when she is left alone as mistress, she is oppressed
              • She copes with the content of the chamber through the 'therapeutic task' of playing a piano
              • Remains an odd combination of fearlessness and resignation: 'I knew I must meet my lord alone'
              • Remains dependent on her mother, her 'avenging angel', for her salvation
          • Marquis' kiss 'with tongue and teeth in it'
            • But when she is left alone as mistress, she is oppressed
              • She copes with the content of the chamber through the 'therapeutic task' of playing a piano
              • Remains an odd combination of fearlessness and resignation: 'I knew I must meet my lord alone'
              • Remains dependent on her mother, her 'avenging angel', for her salvation
          • Nightdress - 'supple as a garment of heavy water'
        • The girl, 'The Tiger's Bride'
          • Survivor personality but powerless in many respects
            • Respects her inability to escape her father's neglect - 'debauchery', 'special madness'
            • Her response to 'Desnuda' is a reflection of her harsh life
              • But her attitude changes when the Beast changes his proposals
            • Anthropomorphic change - rejects the values of her father's civilization
              • Confirms the possibility of a 'peaceable kingdom' by becoming the tiger's bride and rejoicing in the revelation of her 'beautiful fur'
      • Predatory Patriarch and Absent Farther
        • The Marquis, 'The Bloody Chamber'
          • Manifestation of extreme cruelty
            • Aristocratic birth may suggest extreme power and therefore extreme cruelty
          • Rejects his wives as soon as there is evidence of mature independent sexuality
            • One could argue he is the patriarch as child abuser, the deepest and darkest betrayal of the farther's role
              • The girl links the 'warm fug of Havana' with 'little girl' memories of her farther 'before he kissed me and left me'
          • Represents self indulgence - Marquis de Sade
          • Dangerous and menacing predator
            • Carter compares him to a lily and almost immediately describes that flower as 'cobra-headed'
            • His 'footfall turned the carpet into snow'
        • The Count, 'The Snow Child'
          • Manifestation of extreme cruelty
            • Aristocratic birth may suggest extreme power and therefore extreme cruelty
          • Repellent figure
            • 'he was finished' - shows the short-lived nature of his virility and undermines the power that his sexuality might have
        • The father, 'The Tiger's Bride'
          • Absent father, same as the father in 'The Courtship of Mr Lyon'
            • Common villain in folklore and myth
              • Puts riches before his real 'treasure', his daughter
        • The Duke, 'Wolf-Alice'
          • He is unaware of himself as the monster. He realises this when he nursed back to health by Wolf-Alice
            • Show how identities can be transformed through care and compromise
      • Innocent Male
        • Piano-tuner, 'The Bloody Chamber'
          • He is blind
            • Helpless and non-threatening
              • Listens
              • Supportive and gentle
            • Cannot see the mark on his lover's forehead
              • Forgiving character
        • The Soldier, 'The Lady of the House of Love'
          • Unintentionally destroys the woman's world
            • 'lack of imagination'
            • 'Blond beauty' but he is dull
      • Matriarch
        • The mother, 'The Bloody Chamber'
          • Traits of masculine hero
            • Rescues her daughter
            • 'gladly, scandalously, defiantly beggared herself for love'
              • Prepared to abandon her femininity
            • 'magnificently eccentric'
              • Prepared to abandon her femininity
          • 'maternal telepathy'
        • The Countess, 'The Snow-Child'
          • Symbol of jealousy
            • Furs and riding boots - sexual appeal and power - are transferred to her husband's sexual fantasy
              • 'With her long hand, she stroked her furs' - regains her power at the end
        • Wolf-Alice, 'Wolf-Alice'
        • The werewolf, 'The Werewolf'
      • Victim
        • The bride, 'The Bloody Chamber'
          • She is passive but she is also strong
            • The Independent Woman
              • The girl, 'The Tiger's Bride'
              • The child, 'The Werewolf'
                • Far less passive than the original Red Riding Hood
              • The child, 'The Company of Wolves'
                • Far less passive than the original Red Riding Hood
          • Passive
            • Enables Carter to explore the attractions of dominance in human relationships
              • She looks at the extent to which the young wife might be seen as a willing victim -'innocent but not naive'
        • The child, 'The Snow Child'
          • She is the 'child of his desire' - vanishes almost as soon as she is called into existence
            • Vulnerable to the symbolic touch of love, and she falls victim to 'the thorn' which preresents the painful aspects of human emotion
        • The Countess, 'The Lady of the House of Love'
          • Imprisoned by permanent youthful beauty
            • Her release from this empty 'imitation of life' and her 'balked tenderness'
            • Experiences the 'pain' of being human
            • Carter explores how seeming opposites can be transformed into one another, and here shows how hunter and hunted are interchangable roles
            • The imaginary terrors of Gothic horror are dwarfed in comparison with the real and unimaginable horrors of the trenches in France
      • Human Animal
        • The Beast, 'The Tiger's Bride'
          • 'La Bestia'
            • Crter has created her definition of teh male, and of female desire for the male
          • The Beast
            • Different kind of aristocrat
              • 'impeccable', 'potent' and 'chaste; 'dreadful'
                • Warning to careless fathers
                  • Cries jewelled teardrops when he wrongs the girl with his clumsy and embarrassing demands
                  • He had a 'sculptured calm' in his male disguise, which hides the 'annihilating vehemence'
                  • He understands 'his appetite need not be my extinction'
        • Wolf-Alice, 'Wolf-Alice'
          • On seeing the wounded duke, Wolf-Alice 'leapt upon his bed to lick, without hesitation, without disgust...the blood and dirt from his cheeks and forehead
            • Wolfe-Alice takes on a maternal, caring role to save the duke
            • Empathy for the duke suggests her humanity
            • The lines between human and beast are blurred in the positive resolution of the tale
        • Granny, 'The Company of Wolves'
          • 'she knew the worst wolves are hairy on the inside'
            • The girl is aware of the nature of men
            • Grotesque image suggesting all men have an inner 'wolf'
            • Transformation is used to present man's dual nature
      • The Independent Woman
        • The girl, 'The Tiger's Bride'
        • The child, 'The Werewolf'
          • The child, 'The Company of Wolves'

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