The Erl King Angela Carter Analysis

1951 Words 8 Pages
During the story of The Erl-King, Angela Carter attempts to convey several key messages to the readers. Some of the concepts I chose to interpret during the story were nature, isolation, entrapment, and also consequences. I chose these concepts because they reflected how Angela Carter felt about life in general. She uses plenty of examples in The Erl-King to how these concepts are apart of the everyday life. The themes or messages in this story come off with positive advice through other people’s mistakes. During this short story Angela Carter translates these key messages to get a clear image of different concepts.
In the short story, The Erl-King, it has numerous themes you can take away from it. A theme that caught my attention while reading
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A key image of entrapment is the caged birds which the Erl-King has, ‘keeps his feathered things in little cages.’ Also, the narrator sees herself becoming trapped in his big green eyes where she states, ‘If I look into it long enough, I will become as small as my own reflection.’ When the birds are trapped in these cages or when the narrator is trapped into looking in the Erl-King’s eyes, it is a parallel with how the narrator is trapped in the enclosed woods. Additionally, Carter develops these feelings of entrapment as the narrator never exists out of the woods as the use of “you” in the opening paragraphs places the reader inescapably inside. The narrator talks retrospectively to herself, as she is able to look at herself from a future. She is no longer innocent to the forest or the Erl-King and thus has the ability to acknowledge her pervious …show more content…
Later in the novel she even says ‘I knew from the first moment I saw him how the Erl-king would do me grievous harm.’ However, she is still lured in by his danger. Every day we have choices, whether they are bad ones or good ones. This connects with how the narrator is warned that the Erl-King will do grievous harm because she had a choice to listen to his whistle/birdcall or not to listen to it and turn back around and also so did all of these girls who transformed into these birds by looking deep into the Erl-King’s ginormous green eyes. Making the choice of wandering into the woods was not the best idea the narrator has made. This is because all along she knew what she was getting herself into not being able to walk out after she walked in. She understood that when she walked into the woods just once, the Erl-King will constantly be calling her to “his” woods. The narrator now understands the importance of making a cautious choice that will changer her live forever, not only hers but also everyone else who reads this

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