Symbolism In The Tiger's Bride

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Register to read the introduction… In The Tiger’s Bride we see the heroine transform into a tiger “And each stroke of his tongue ripped off skin after successive skin, all the skins of a life in the world, and left behind a nascent patina of shining hairs. My earrings turned back to water and trickled down my shoulders; I shrugged the drops off my beautiful fur.” This introduces the idea of traditional gothic supernatural elements, which intrigues the reader with mystery. However, it could be suggested that Carter used the metamorphosis and described successive layers of female flesh being removed to reveal a true identity unconstrained by human form. Carter could be criticizing presumed gender roles, and by transforming the feeble heroine into a tiger she almost becomes the beast’s equal. Carter inverts the traditional transformation from beast to human. Moreover, in The Courtship of Mr Lyon the beast transforms into a man “And then it was no longer a lion in her arms but a man” This is interesting, as it could be said that Carter is trying to illustrate how the bestial nature of a man can be humanized by the sacrifice of a woman. The way in which the Beast is metamorphosed to physically change fits into the gothic element of the tale as the reader wonder’s and almost fears for what is going to happen to both the characters of the heroine and beast. However, the idea that the heroine’s perfection can calm and almost tame the savage beast could be Carter’s

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