Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Textual Intervention - The Worst Essay Ever

I am having some serious issues with my Textual Intervention II essay. I have never hated an essay more than this one!

‘All works of art either uphold the status quo, or challenge it.’ Focusing on The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter, discuss how the author has used textual intervention and
craft (e.g. plot, characterisation, language) to challenge or promote specific sociocultural
agendas or ideas.

If anyone has any clue as to how to answer this I would greatly appreciate it! So far all I've got is a ton of books about fairy tales and another huge pile on sexual politics and gender.

I was thinking of writing about how Carter challenges the status quo by having the Mother save the day; this is radical by fairy tale standards and unheard of in a patriarchal society -  though I'll have to research that, hence the big pile of books. (Seriously, I have 9 books with me now and I did have like 7 more before!) In a way, this idea would also promote the idea of strong women and feminism, which is the dullest and most repetitive subject ever!

I would also do a comparison between Perrault's version of Bluebeard and Carter's The Bloody Chamber. I would note how the female protagonist is more active in The Bloody Chamber as she seeks to seduce Bluebeard in hopes that it will prevent her death instead of waiting for her brothers to save her - I guess this where the sexual politics and gender roles will come in.  

In a seminar we discussed that knowledge leads to power, and that the protagonist's knowledge of the chamber means she won't be tricked into going in their like the other three wives were. Gender roles would be important here too as it is usually the men with knowledge and therefore power, however, more women are being educated now and so wouldn't be as easily led to the chamber. This would again link back to the strong female.

Many fairy tales state that straying from the path can only lead to bad things, like in Little Red Riding Hood. However, because the protagonist strayed from the path by disobeying Bluebeard's orders to stay away from the locked room, she was actually able to save herself. So maybe curiosity didn't kill as many cats as we are led to believe.

At the same time Carter upholds the ideology of the perfect heterosexual relationship; Bluebeard woos the girl, buys her gifts, marries her, then wishes to consummate their marriage. The only out of the ordinary thing is when the mother kills him, but then again, what are Mother-in-Laws for?

So, this is all I've got so far but I guess it's a start. Again, if anyone else has any ideas, please comment.

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