The Bloody Chamber continued

In Carter’s “The Bloody Chamber”, we observe that it is the Heroine’s mother who saves her at the end, rather than her brothers as happened in Perrault’s “Blue Beard”.

This twist is consistent with much of Carter’s work and her own feminist views, which reflected the rising feminist movement of the 1960s and 70s. This was a time when women were starting to break free of their shackles, and were starting to make their voices heard.

Against this backdrop, perhaps Carter wanted to give some balance to the image of the hero, which was overwhelmingly masculine at the time. She adds an abrupt, yet loving, lighthearted touch to the finish by having the Heroine’s mother gallop in on a horse and shoot the Marquis in the head.

She also reminds us about a mother’s intuition and intelligence – the Heroine’s mother could sense something was wrong over the phone and did not take what her daughter said at face value, and she knew her daughter was not crying for joy.

This story and others like it could help reverse some of the stereotypes of the hero figure, promoted by fairy tales written by authors with the backwards mentality of the 19th century and before.

 

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