Transformation Is a Central Concern When Studying 'the Bloody Chamber' and 'the World's Wife'. How Far Would You Agree with This Observation?

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Transformation is a central concern when studying 'The Bloody Chamber' and 'The World's Wife'. How far would you agree with this observation?

Transformation is a prominent theme in the 'The Bloody Chamber' and 'The World's Wife', with the transforming beast, the changing of man’s ideal of perfection and finally physical transformation occurring throughout both volumes. These 'transformations' are brought about via the chains of a patriarchal society which are imposed upon the female protagonists which causes them to have to leave their assumed role in society and assume a more independent and masculine role. Both authors use revisionism throughout their tales so as to allow both their feministic values to be expressed and to allow the female narrative voice to be heard and thus emphasise the sense of female empowerment and independence which permeates both volumes. As Sarah Gamble writes, both writers use the fairy tale as a vehicle for the perpetuation of female oppression in culture.[1]

Transformation is a traditional theme of the fairy-tale with it being a key aspect of Carter's 'Cat tales.' In 'The Courtship of Mr Lyon', the love of Beauty is a catalyst for the metamorphosis of Mr Lyon which causes a transformation from his strong bestial qualities with his “unkempt” looks and his “rough, hot, stiff stubble” into the stereotype of the gentleman who walks calmly in the garden with his wife. Her enduring love for Mr Lyon develops him from the “leonine apparition” into the “handsomest of all beasts.” In ‘The Tiger’s Bride’ Carter inverts the classic tale and instead, it is Beauty that undergoes the change. In this tale, we see the female protagonist objectified and “lost to the beast at cards.” In this tale, after the daughter releases the responsibilities of caring for her father, the girl sees her role in a masculine dominated society in the reflection of…...

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