The Bloody Chamber

Angela Carter’s version of Perrault’s “Blue Beard” is told in the first person perspective rather than the third-person omniscient perspective of the original and other folklore versions.

This method gives Carter’s story a much more personal feel, as though we were with the protagonist all the way through her ordeal. As such the emotions I felt while reading “The Bloody Chamber” were much stronger than those I felt reading Perrault’s version. It allowed me to experience the story as one of the characters rather than watch passively “on the sidelines”.

“Every man must have one secret, even if only one, from his wife” Carter writes, teasing us. Compare this to the much more straightforward “if you open it [the room], there will be no bounds to my just anger and resentment” in “Blue Beard”.

One major problem with this way of storytelling – technically at least – is that it removes some of the suspense over whether the protagonist will survive at the end. I say “technically” because if I did not read Perrault’s version I would not have guessed the Heroine would survive until I got to the end, either because of Carter’s excellent writing skills or my limited intelligence!

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