‘The Lady of the House of Love’
Seventh story in the collection
The narrative perspective has been captured in the third person, proven by the use of the singular third person pronouns ‘she’ and ‘her’.
This is effective as by an outsider narrating story of all the characters and their actions, so it gives off a feeling that as the reader we are watching as things happen.
The narrative flicks from third person to first person throughout the story, the first person narrative implies a climax in the plot. “I’ve been waiting for you in my wedding dress, why have you delayed so long… it will all be over very quickly. You will feel no pain my darling.” the countess desires to eat the soldier, however really, it is described as though she loves him, Carter uses first person to engage with the readers emotions and make them feel more involved in the situation. Similar to how, sometimes, in films the story is read in third person by a narrator then switches to show you the exact situation at the exact time, in novel format this is very visually effective.
Set in an abandoned Romanian village on the eve of the First World War, where the Countess, "Queen of the vampires," lives. Ghosts live with her in the castle, but she keeps herself alone in a dusty, rotting and lightless suite.
When the Countess dies the English Solider go back to battle in the war.
"The Lady of the House of Love" is based loosely on the story of Sleeping Beauty, and incorporates vampire legends as well as the story of Jack and the Beanstalk. This story takes the fairy tale of ‘Sleeping Beauty’ and puts it on its head. The princess is not sleeping; she is preying on men and she is not waiting to get rescued.
On one level, the story can be seen as an allegory of the triumph of reason over unreason. The Countess represents unreason. Reason states that death is definite, but she defies this law because she is the living dead. She lives in the dark, which represents ambiguity and mystery. The narrator refers to her suite as "Juliet's tomb" to indicate that just as Juliet was alive in the guise of death, the Countess is dead in the guise of life.
Some say that “The Lady of the House of Love” is a re-told version of 'Sleeping Beauty'.
However this can be argued as within Helen Simpson’s introduction to ‘The Bloody Chamber’ Carter states that ‘My intention was not to do “versions” or… “adult” fairy tales, but to the extract the latent content from the traditional stories and to use it as the beginnings of new stories’
The Soldier is represented as “The Hero” like in most typical fairy tales; he is ‘Blond, blue-eyed, heavy muscled’, from physical description to mental description “Although so young he is also rational.” The boy is described as…