How does Angela Carter subvert the traditional form of a fairy-tale in her short story ‘The Snow Child’? Why does she do this?
Carter as a feminist was interested in fairy-tales because of hoe gender roles are presented in them. For example, women. Women are normally the lead characters of a fairy-tale. However, there are several different types of women that exist in fairy-tales and the reader is often able to figure out a characters role in a fairy-tale based on their physical appearance. If the woman is attractive, it is often a sign to show a future of happiness and that she is a ‘damsel in distress’ in need of her prince charming to come and rescue her. On the other hand, women that are less attractive are automatically classed as a source of suspicion. The ‘evils stepsisters’ from Cinderella are a prime example of this. Carter, as a feminist writer, can unpick and stripe the myths that compose and uphold western social and sexual relationships. In her opinion, male desire dominated the popular imagination and as a result of this, female desire became squeezed, denied and twisted. In ‘The Bloody Chamber’, Carter does not do ‘versions’ of the common fairy-tales we all know but rather extracts the hidden content from them. One of the fairy-tales that Carter subverts is ‘Little Snow White’ written by the Grimm brothers.
There are many similarities and differences in ‘The Snow Child’ and ‘Little Snow White’, one being how both of then begin. In Grimm’s story is starts off by saying ‘Once upon a time, Midwinter’ and in carters story it starts off by saying ‘Midwinter- invincible, immaculate’. Both stories draw attention to the setting being ‘Midwinter’ which suggests its cold but Carter’s use of alliteration, ‘invincible, immaculate’, exaggerates the extremity of the weather. Also the way Carter begins her story in the present tense, which is an immediate departure from the ‘once upon a time’ traditionally shown in fairy-tales. This shows Carter...
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