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A Magic Realism Interpretation of the Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter

Author HanJing
Tutor WangLiZuo
School Harbin Normal University
Course English Language and Literature
Keywords Angela Carter The Bloody Chamber magic realism
Type Master's thesis
Year 2011
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Angela Carter is one of the English authoresses who are most outstanding in contemporary literary field. She is regarded as confidant by Salman Rushdie who highly commended her in many of his articles. She is tastily intitled as“myth cummer”by Margaret Atwood. Carter’s The Bloody Chamber was published in 1979 and it received the Cheltenham Festival Literary Prize at the same year.Angela Carter has her own very original style in English literature. She is adept at using magic but true-life writing technique to portray magnificent and fantastic story. She composes modern fairy tales by rewriting old folklore and classic fairy tales on the basis of fairy tales. While she is brilliant in that she puts reality in a magic environment and atmosphere and describes it objectively and in detail by using magic realism. And in this way reality is draped in baroque over clothes without impairing its essence. The Bloody Chamber is based on the legend of Charles Perrault’s Bluebeard. As a magic realistic novelist, Carter successfully and skillfully employs symbolism, absurdity, exaggeration, presage and many other expressive techniques in this modern fairy tale. By blending magic and reality Carter creates strong magic aesthetic effects and deepens the novel’s reflection of reality. All kinds of phenomenon in society are shown. Certain essence of life is inquired from the perspective of moral. Man’s extremely vulgar desire and the true, the false, the good and the evil in reality are exposed. The novel was translated into Chinese and introduced into our country in 1995. But it has not got extensive attention from domestic scholars. There were comments about it between times from Gothic or feminist perspective. The writer of this essay tries to detailedly analyze the employment of magic realistic techniques in this target text and deepens the understanding of the theme of this novel.This essay consists of five parts.The first chapter includes the introduction of the author Angela Carter, the summary and motif of her novel, The Bloody Chamber and some comments on it. The aim and significance of this essay are also involved.The second chapter includes the introduction of the basic theory, origin, course of development, the main principles and characteristics of magic realism.In the third chapter, the author analyzes in details the target text and the artistic embodiment of magic realism in it. Carter blurs the boundary between fancy and reality and covers the novel in magic color through using the means of mysterious foretokens and absurdity. Moreover, the symbolic images used in the text not only indicate the nature and fortune of characters’but also reflect magic realism through their wizardly characteristics. Besides, the mythic archetype which the magic realistic writers are adept at is also applied in this novel and the reality is endowed with profound allegorical meanings.In chapter four some modernist narrative methods employed in the text, such as the juxtaposition of past and present, ambiguous narration, subjective narration, techniques from film-making and so on, are discussed since magic realistic works always employ some post-modern narrative skills to express motif and create magic effects.Chapter five is the conclusion of this essay. Carter’s The Bloody Chamber fully presents the charm of magic realism. Through the appliance of magic realism in her novel, especially her use of such techniques as symbolism, absurdity, exaggeration and foretoken, she leads the readers into a mysterious and visional world. And the intertexture of magic and realism creates a new reality with visional color.

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