Analysis Of Angela Carter 's ' Nights At The Circus ' Essay

1328 Words Sep 28th, 2015 null Page
One often finds themselves rooting for the underdog: that unusual, unexpected hero or heroine who ends up charming us with their out-of-the-ordinary stories. Indeed, who cannot be both charmed and intrigued by one of the most extraordinary written characters, Sophie Fevvers, around whom is centered Angela Carter’s novel “Nights at the Circus”? In this story of circus misfits and madmen, Carter uses comparison and contrast between her main character, Sophie, and a character named Mignon to question the expectations and values of the society that has labeled them outcasts. As she reflects these societal values in the outward appearance and inward mentality of the two women, Carter’s message is that wealth and social status do not make a person more beautiful or virtuous, and that true beauty and virtue comes from humility and appreciation for the gifts life has given you. From the start, life did not offer much to either Sophie or Mignon. In the beginning of the book, Sophie is telling her story to a reporter; how she was abandoned at a brothel (21), and how, after being forced out of the brothel, she earned nothing while employed by Madame Schreck (63). On the other side, Mignon grew up in an orphanage and then lived on the streets, turning towards stealing and prostitution (130-131). Both of these women ended up joining the circus, but the levels of comfort in which they live while there are entirely different, as seen when these two women’s paths cross. In the scene in…

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