wise children literary analysis

Topics: Low culture, High culture, Culture Pages: 21 (6071 words) Published: May 23, 2014


The Author: Angela Carter
English short story writer, novelist, journalist, dramatist and critic. Angela Carter was a notable exponent of magic realism, adding into it Gothic themes, postmodernist eclecticism, violence, and eroticism. Throughout her career, Carter utilized the language and characteristic motifs of the fantasy genre. "A good writer can make you believe time stands still," she once said. Carter completed nine novels. Carter's novels and stories stand almost without parallel in British writing for their complex blending of parody, allegory and symbolism and their generic mixing of fantasy, romance, and science fiction underpinned by feminism and sometimes coupled with a rich humor. Wise Children was Angela Carter’s last novel, published the year before her death from lung cancer in 1992. She created in Wise Children an effervescent family saga that manages to celebrate the lore and magic of show business while also exploring the connections between parent and child, the transitory and the immortal, authenticity and falsehood.

Feminism:
Feminist literature is fiction or nonfiction which supports the feminist goals of defining, establishing and defending equal civil, political, economic and social rights for women. It often identifies women's roles as unequal to those of men – particularly as regards status, privilege and power – and generally portrays the consequences to women, men, families, communities and societies as undesirable. Carter's novel represents a conscious and rebellious attempt to craft a personal and definitively female landscape via the techniques of magic realism. Angela Carter worked in a bar and wrote for two years, returning to Britain in 1972 with a new awareness of how gender and symbols impacted society. This led her on the road to feminism. It also influenced her later work because it was her first glimpse of a truly foreign environment. This how the novel is autobiographically related. She lives in a society where the men are dominant, yet have no magnificent role in the life of women. Carter is a writer known for the richness of her imagination and wit as well as her feminist insights into matters large and small, she created in Wise Children an effervescent family saga that manages to celebrate the lore and magic of show business while also exploring the connections between parent and child, the transitory and the immortal, authenticity and falsehood. Dora and Nora have been raised up by Mrs. Chance, with no interference of any parental or masculine authority. Angela presents all the men including her father as futile creatures, they lack responsibility, sacrifice and their major role as fathers. As leaning under the wings of feminism, Carter wanted in her novel to spread her own wings as a woman, letting free her talents, creativity and expression. Dora was the only narrative voice in the novel, furthermore, she wanted to portray a feminine messages through her voice and from her own point of view, and by all means, she attempts to get the readers sympathy and agreeableness with her.

Family tree:

Characterization:
For a start, there are five sets of twins
1. Melchior and Peregrine Hazard. (Two Males)

 Melchior (main round male character)
The oppressive father in Carter’s final novel is embodied by Melchior Hazard, the undisputed head of the Hazard dynasty. Not coincidentally, even his first name is etymologically derived from the Semitic word for “king‟ (Campbell). He is dark, serious and mournful. Prestige, legitimacy and acclaim are important to him and he is one of the most eminent Shakespearean actors in Britain. He is the typical tragic hero -- prominent, highly regarded citizen with much to lose and more than his share of hubris. But, it might be added, his life is also charmed in many respects and he lives without the tragic fall that would make him aware of the heights from which he could plummet. Like his father, Melchior has a "gift of...
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