Essay: Angela Carter’s The Bloody Chamber & The Uncanny – An Applied Analysis

bloody-chamber-blogThe stories in Angela Carter’s short-story collection The Bloody Chamber belong to ‘that class of the terrifying which leads back to something long known to us, once very familiar’[1]. These words, however, are not from a critic of Carter’s but from the father of psychoanalysis Sigmund Freud in his essay ‘The Uncanny’; yet how strangely they seem to mirror the figures that cast the ominous shadows of Carter’s stories. Whilst Carter and her champions continue to assert that these are ‘new stories, not retellings’[2], all of the stories interlace and elucidate threads from fairy-tales and folklore, from Beauty and the Beast to Puss in Boots, and they inevitably, as Freud informs us of the Uncanny, lead us back to something once familiar: the fairy-tales of our infanthood. This study will centre on the three werewolf tales that close the collection and ‘work and rework the story of Red Riding Hood’[3], ‘The Werewolf’, ‘The Company of Wolves’, and ‘Wolf-Alice’[4], and apply Freud’s Uncanny as a theory of analysis to illuminate the dark shadows and dangerous spaces of Carter’s stories. Continue reading “Essay: Angela Carter’s The Bloody Chamber & The Uncanny – An Applied Analysis”