"The Company of Wolves" (1979, excerpt)
Men are powerful, strong, dominant. But what are women's strengths? This question was widely discussed in the late seventies during the women's liberation movement. Women all over the world were fighting for their rights, and this inspired female authors to put their thoughts into stories. Women could be manipulative, deceiving. They could control men when they wanted to. So why were the men in control of the world? By rewriting "Little Red Riding Hood", Angela Carter turns the norms of the fairytale upside down, and thereby shows the development in contemporary society. In "The Company of Wolves", a young girl beats the most manly of all creatures: the werewolf. The short story is chronological and is told by an omniscient third person narrator with a clear narrative voice:"Children do not stay young for long in this savage country"(p. 22). This gives the reader an insight in the huntsman's thoughts as well as the girls, and we get an understanding of the decisions taken by the characters. The short story has intertextuality, as it's a rewriting of the fairytale "Little Red Riding Hood", but it's uncharacteristic as a fairytale as it does not start with the usual "once upon a time", and does not end with "they lived happily ever after". Angela Carter has chosen to rewrite a story almost everyone knows to make her message easier to understand. But the language in the story is quite formal. This makes it more difficult to understand properly, and it shows that Angela Carter wanted to address the story to the educated part of society. The formal language is also a way of pointing out that women can actually write in a high level of language. The short story's setting is midwinter in a forest. The winter embodies the color white, the color of innocence. The color white is used frequently in the story as well as the color red to personalize the girl. The white color symbolizes her innocence and the red...
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