How Does Carter Reinforce the Gothic Genre in ‘the Bloody Chamber’? Essay

In the First extract of ‘The Bloody Chamber’, how does Carter reinforce the genre? ‘The Bloody Chamber’ is a short Gothic story, the sentences are long this is because big ideas are needed to be put across in a short space of time. A lot of information is needed in the sentences to convey the right idea/point to the receiver. Long sentence structure also increases the paced in which the text is read, this makes the reader feel the anxiety/excitement that the narrator is feeling.This nervousness supports the Gothic genre as it creates mystery as to what is going to happen in the rest of the novel.

In the first paragraph words such as ‘tender, delicious ecstasy of excitement’ are used, this intensifies and builds excitement for the reader; it is also very sensual. Also ‘burning’ and ‘thrusting’ although used in an innocent way foreshadows the ‘girlhood’ being taken and the fact that she will soon have to consummate the marriage and loose her virginity (AO2).In ‘The Bloody Chamber’ the narrator is a seventeen-year-old girl she is portrayed as being young and naive as she is marrying someone for money and status not love, you can tell this as her mother is constantly asking her ‘are you sure’ (about her marriage) this creates doubt and the intention behind the marriage is questionable. The question is being avoided a lot in the text and the narrator never gives a straight answer or tells her mother or the audience how she truly feels.

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She states that her mother ‘beggared herself for love’ this has an underlying feeling that she is belittling her mother and trying to make love seem petty and that it can never compete again money. This shows her immaturity in her views of love and money (AO3). Also her being poor and him being rich creates a big diversity, as he owns ‘castle’ and she portray herself as seemingly living in ‘poverty’ and having a ‘meagre table’ this suggests that she has no food.The novel was written in 1979 in this time sexism was still very common so Carter created a Gothic novel from a feminist view. However it was set in the industrial revolution which is from 1750 to 1850 approximately. This creates a dark image as the industrial revolution would have been very dirty as workers would have been covered in soot from the machines. Also things were very rough and raw, nothing was smooth sailing as it is now, and for example the train ride was very rough and jolting this is due to it being a steam train (AO4).Overall I think that Carter has created a very interesting short Gothic story.

She has included the concept of suspense, a sinister man, a heroine, romance and mystery. I think that there is a moral in this novel that women are powerless in this era to men and the opportunities they present, because they can give them lavish gifts and they know they will live in wealth for the majority of their life.


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