In-depth close literary and linguistic analysis of key quotations from Angela Carter’s The Bloody Chamber . Suitable for all A level students (A level literature or A level langlit) on any specification - or for teachers unfamiliar with the collection as pre-teaching prep. 25 quotations separated into key themes with page references and cross-referencing between stories in the analysis. At least one quote from every story in the collection. Sample below:
The Lady in the House of Love P93 – “ she draws her long, sharp fingernail across the bars of the cage in which her pet lark sings, striking a plangent twang like that of the plucked heartstrings of a woman of metal. Her hair falls down like tears”
The cage imagery here literalises the protagonist’s sense of entrapment – her pet is her familiar, her double, as she is also confined within the boundaries of her home. Several homes become traps and prisons in the collection, intimating that women become enclosed in their domestic space. Cacophonous sounds of despise and heartbreak are implied in the plosive noun phrase “plangent twang” and the grating image of a fingernail scraping metal bars. Images of sharpness (her nails) and coldness abound – she is somewhat dehumanised into a robotic. “woman of metal” but this does not necessarily limit our sympathy as it is juxtaposed with her hair “like tears”, an image of vulnerability. We could consider the semantic ambiguity of “tears”- does it refer to tears from her eyes, a parallel to the tears that fall at the end of The Tiger’s Bride, or the homograph tears, synonymous with rips, suggesting fragmentation and destruction?
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