Discuss Competition Between Women In "The Snow Child," And "The Company Of Wolves." If Women Are Subjugated In These Stories, Why Do They Work Against One Another Instead Of Banding Together? What Message Does Their Competition Convey?

1776 words - 7 pages

Discuss competition between women in "The Snow Child," and "The Company of Wolves

Discuss competition between women in "The Snow Child," and "The Company of Wolves." If women are subjugated in these stories, why do they work against one another instead of banding together? What message does their competition convey?

"The Snow Child" and "The Company of Wolves" in "The Bloody Chamber" by Angela Carter

October 2009

Within "The Snow Child", competition is explicitly evident between the characters of the Countess and the Snow Child. Carter portrays this rivalry through the quotes "the Countess hated her…she was the child of his desire. The Count lifted her up and sat her in front of him…the Countess had only one thought: how shall I be rid of her?"

Throughout Carter's narratives, men, while being represented as monstrous and animalistic beings, also possess dominance and control, particularly over women. This consequently leads to the subjugation and objectification of women, being perceived by men as merely objects which possess the sole purpose of fulfilling their role of offering sexual pleasure and gratification, satisfying the sadistic and perverted desires of men. Because of this, the notions of love and devotion between husband and wife are non-existent, as men value women cheaply, and are able to simply move on and disregard their previous attachments with the opposite sex. This can be observed within the narrative of "The Snow Child" as the Count indulges himself in the snow child, ignoring the presence of the Countess.

This also exemplifies the theme of survival. This can be examined through the quotes "the furs sprang off the Countess' shoulders and twined round the naked girl…Now the Countess was bare as a bone and the girl furred and booted". The changeover of clothes from the Countess to the snow child symbolises the transition of attractiveness and beauty in the eyes of the Count as he now deems the Countess as obsolete and unequipped to fulfill her purpose. This also ties in strongly with the theme of survival as in a world completely dominated by men, the rights and freedom of women are nowhere to be seen, while the desires and brutality of men knows no bounds. This aspect of the narrative is also evident within "The Bloody Chamber" as the marquis considers his wives to be replaceable and non-essential assets.

Hence, Carter has created a living dystopia, where women live in constant fear in an excessively cruel and unsympathetic patriarchal society, their lives dehumanized as they are dictated and governed solely by the desires of men. This may well be act as an explanation to the harsh, yet plausible actions of the Countess as she attempts to kill the snow child in order to stay alive as due to the objectification of women by men, the Count perceives the Countess as an expiring and...

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