Gender Analysis of The Tigers Bride by Angela Carter

Topics: Sociology, Gender role, Gender Pages: 3 (709 words) Published: September 16, 2014

The short story_The Tigers Bride_ raises thought provoking concepts around gender through a plot both alike and unlike traditional Beauty and the Beast. The role of both genders is explored and true freedom questioned within the bounds of society. The text delivers a powerful and even handed message to the genders that constraints are merely a construct, a mask which can slip and shatter when pressure is applied.

Angela Carter sketches a bleak setting, and equally bleak outlook for the female protagonist, caught in a powerless, debased and objectified position of social standing. Agency is firmly placed with The Beast, and the father, opening with the line; 'My father lost me to The Beast at cards'. Objectified from the outset for her beauty, the narrator is declared a 'treasure' by both men and a 'pearl beyond price' by her father. The barb is deepened with Christmas, the day of items named as the day of her birth. Her nickname 'Christmas rose' gives rye commentary on the traditional symbolism of the rose, which re-emerges later stained with her blood, representing the loss of innocence at the hands of the patriarchy much as her mother before her who 'did not blossom long'.

Despite her predicament the narrator represents herself and her gender atypically to binary stereotype with a cynicism and wit that cuts through the flaws of the hegemonic dominated society around her. Receiving a rose from The Beast, she calls it 'unnatural and out of season' and tears it apart whilst being bartered as an object in the card game. Her disdain for her predicament and surrounds are powerless in these early stages and are blended with a sadness 'you think there is no winter but forget you take it with you'.

The narrator fast becomes a heroine to the audience, through a nurtured appreciation of her budding inner strength. This is emphasised by the stark contrast to the insipidness of the father and...

Bibliography: Carter, Angela, (1996). The Tiger 's Bride. In Carter, Angela, Burning your boats : the collected short stories, (pp.183 - 201). London: Vintage.
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