In The Bloody Chamber childhood fairy tales become the stuff of adult nightmares.

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"In The Bloody Chamber, childhood fairy tales become the stuff of adult
nightmares." With close reference to at least two stories from the
collection, say how far you agree with this comment.
Fairy Tales are children's stories which generally include the dichotomy of good
vs. evil and a damsel in distress who requires a handsome brave prince to rescue
her. Fairy tales typically have happy endings but Carter takes classic literary
fairy tales and subverts them by bringing to life a gothic and sexual nature and
challenges the ways in which both women and men are represented in them. I agree
that Carter takes childhood fairy tales and successfully transforms them in to the
stuff of adult nightmares.
In the title story The Bloody Chamber which Carter based on the fairy tale
Bluebeard can certainly be seen as the stuff of adult nightmares; the idea of adult
nightmares seems to be encompassed in the Marquis himself. Male characters in
fairy tales are generally portrayed as masculine, brave, chivalrous and heroic
however Carter certainly does not adopt these qualities in the character of the
Marquis. Carter's description of him is very bestial "his dark mane", which
instantly evokes a feeling of dread and danger in the reader. When Carter
describes his eyes as having "the absence of light" and the fact that it disturbs
the narrator implies the absence of virtue within him. He is also likened to funeral
lilies which could be seen as the foreshadowing of what is to come as funeral lilies
hold connotations of death.
Carter also introduces some taboo subjects in to The Bloody Chamber which
typically would not be seen in a classic fairy tale. She has her characters engaging
in sadomasochistic and voyeuristic behaviour, which could be seen to be the stuff
of adult nightmares. The Marquis enjoys objectifying and subjugating women which
is clearly shown when he forces the heroine to remove her clothes whilst he
watches her, remaining fully clothed. He further objectifies her by demanding she
wear a red ruby choker, it is as if she is now his possession. Even though the
Marquis forcefully "impales" her, it is almost as if the narrator takes masochistic
pleasure from this. Her "scarlet, palpitating core" suggests her passion and desire
as she "feels herself stirring."
The bloody chamber itself is most certainly the stuff of adult nightmares. It is a
torture chamber in which the Marquis has elaborately displayed the dead bodies
of his previous wives. The Marquis refers to this room as his "enfer" (hell.) This
could suggest that he himself is disturbed by the contents of the chamber and of
his murderous nature. Carter seems to be blurring the lines between good and evil
which is a classic gothic convention; the reader dislikes the Marquis but also
begins to question his true nature.

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The Snow Child' is the shortest story within Carter's collection but could be
thought of as the most disturbing and nightmarish of them all. Although the title
holds connotations of innocence and purity, the story itself however does not
The story enforces a gothic theme right at the beginning through description of
setting and characters. It is set during the winter which instantly evokes images
of death and decay.…read more


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