Essay on Close Reading the Bloody Chamber

1023 Words Sep 1st, 2012 5 Pages
The Bloody Chamber pages 11 to top of 15
In this extract the unnamed narrator and the Marquis consummate their marriage. We see this build up to their consummation where the Marquis teases her, enjoying her discomfort. Left about the in the ‘library’ she discovers a ‘Rops’ picture which is symbolic of their own relationship. Delighted to have found the narrator entranced with what she had seen. the Marquis relishes in her naivety and finally takes her virginity. Leaving her feeling exposed he announces his departure for America.
Within these four pages, Carter uses their sexual encounter to explore patriotic views on men through the characteristics of the Marquis and his treatment of the girl. This encounter foreshadows the outcome of
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Carter’s use of conjunctions at the start of sentences reminds us of the girl’s adolescent stage in her life as a child would usually speak in this manor when telling stories. It can be argued that the girl is in a liminal state as she is neither adult nor child at this point.
Carter explores liminal states through the unnamed narrator and her transformation from a girl to a woman. As the narrator waits for her husband’s return she displays child like qualities as she “flung down the lid in a little fury of disappointment” and naivety in her reaction to the ‘engraving’ on the book: “make me gasp.” She also demonstrates signs of liminal state in her own shock for desire: “I was aghast to feel myself stirring”. Liminal state is heightened in the realisation that she is no longer a virgin: “I had bled.” The loss of her virginity seems to on the one hand empower her “I had seen his face without his mask” but on the other hand leaves her in a state of fear and insecurity “cradling my spent body in my arms.” The verb ‘cradling’ symbolises her rebirth into womanhood yet could also be symbolic of the child and innocence she left behind.
The Marquis talks to the narrator in a patronising way when she discovers the disturbing “Rops” pictures: “Have the nasty pictures scared baby?” reinforcing the fact that he still perceives her as a child. He is also patronising after their consummation, “my little

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