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"it is ironic that the beasts are often more humane than the

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Laura Hague

on 28 November 2014

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Transcript of "it is ironic that the beasts are often more humane than the

an animal, especially a large or dangerous four-footed one.
"a wild beast"
a domestic animal, especially a bovine farm animal.
"mucking out and feeding the beasts is a big job"
synonyms: animal, creature, brute; informalcritter
"the terrible roaring of caged beasts"
an animal as opposed to a human.

Point One
Irony further enhanced in The Bloody Chamber; "dark mane" p.3
Carter makes use of anthropomorphic features in her description of the Marquis - foreshadowing lack of humane qualities from the Marquis later on.
The Marquis is described as inhumane- based on physical appearance. He is described as being more beastly than the beast in The Tiger's Bride and The Courtship of Mr. Lyon, shown through his actions.
Despite the obvious irony seen in Bloody Chamber, the beast is still insensitive in Tiger's Bride as he is naive to Beauty's feelings and doesn't understand basic etiquette of human behavior.
"My master's sole desire is to see the pretty young lady unclothed, nude without her dress"
Point One: Symbolism
"he wears a mask with a man's face painted most beautifully on it"
"what can he smell of that needs so much camouflage"

Symbolism; camouflage- the beast is hiding his animalistic qualities to appear more human. He also appears more human as he is showing natural human tendencies, self-conscious and caring about physical appearance. Beast's scent/mask/human clothes- shows irony in contrast to The Bloody Chamber where the human is described as a beast with his "dark mane."
"it is ironic that the beasts are often more humane than the humans" consider at least two stories from the collection in light of this comment. 40 marks
"the gift of reason differentiates humanity from the beasts"
having or showing compassion or benevolence.
"regulations ensuring the humane treatment of animals"
synonyms: compassionate, kind, kindly, kind-hearted, considerate, understanding, sympathetic, tolerant, civilized, good, good-natured, gentle; .
"humane methods of killing"
(of a branch of learning) intended to have a civilizing effect on people.
"the humane education of literary study"
Additionally, in The Courtship of Mr. Lyon- Beast doesn't try to appear more human although he is ashamed of his animalistic qualities.
Instead he lives in solitude; he is ashamed of what he is.
"A constant human presence would remind him too bitterly of his otherness." p.48

Irony: The Bloody Chamber
"Consider at least two stories from the collection"
The Bloody Chamber
The Tiger's Bride
The Courtship of Mr. Lyon
Point 2 - The Fathers
The fathers in both
"The Courtship of Mr. Lyon"
"The Tiger's Bride"
are depicted as having a lack of morals, but differ slightly in personality.
In The Tiger's Bride, the father is presented as careless, due to his severe drinking and gambling. As a consequence of this, he loses his daughter to The Beast, presenting him as less human. On the other hand, in The Courtship of Mr. Lyon, the father is presented as simply aware he is now poorer and can no longer afford to provide what he feels his daughter deserves, making him appear to be more humane. He therefore accepts the Beast's proposal that his daughter stay with him, while he goes to London to deal with their financial troubles, with the Beast's assistance. However, he does often seem to objectify his daughter as being his property.
TTB Father Quotes
p56 "...my father, fired in his desperation by more and yet more draughts of the firewater they call 'grappa', rids himself of the last scraps of my inheritance."
- language has native american-like connotations e.g. "firewater"
- the father is so desperate he evidently doesn't think twice about his daughter until it's too late - selfish

p56 "My father lost me to The Beast at cards."
- Instantly sets an image in the reader's mind about the Father's character - we're judging him.
- Carter portrays him as going against the typical norm of a father role, particularly in fairy-tales.

p60 "If you are so careless of your treasures, you should expect them to be taken from you"
- The Beast is reinforcing to the father how careless and insensitive he has been in gambling away his daughter at the exppense of his lost fortune. - says something about The Beast's morals?
- The Beast isn't sympathetic, perhaps because he knows how much appearance and love should be valued. - possibly presents him as more humane than the father - ironic?

p61 "I prick my finger and so he gets a rose all smeared with blood."
- Quite foreboding symbolism
- Making the father feel more guilty for his betrayal, he knows he now won't be able to protect her.
TCOML Father Quotes:
p43 "...his Beauty, his girl-child, his pet..."
- He appears to be making her seem as though she were his possession, who he controlled.

p48 "Do not think she had no will of her own; only, she was possessed by a sense of obligation to an unusual degree and, besides, she would gladly have gone to the ends of the earth for her father, whom she loved dearly."
- The idea of her having a will of her own contradicts the next statement that she would do whatever her father wanted of her, simply to please him, even if it didn't satisfy herself. This is 'justified' by Carter, since Beauty loved her father dearly.

p48 "Yet she stayed, and smiled, because her father wanted her to do so..."
This again shows that she felt uncomfortable but forced herself to be civil for her father's sake, highlighting how much influence he has over her.
The idea of objectification is also present in The Bloody Chamber, with the symbolism of the choker of rubies. This presents the Marquis as being quite beastly and inhumane, as he is using this symbol from the French Revolution to practically tell others that the girl belongs to him, is his property. As well as this, the allusion to the French Revolution also contributes to the gothical conventions of the story as it introduces a sense of foreboding for the female character because of the reference to a time in which death and punishable actions with murder were common.
p6 "His wedding gift, clasped around my throat. A choker of rubies, two inches wide, like an extraordinarily precious slit throat."
Point 3: The Marquis
It is ironic and important that although he does not have the physicality of a beast, the Marquis is presented as having the mentality of a beast. The Marquis' initial treatment to the female character of the story foreshadows the later reveal of his chamber. This seems to suggest that Carter believes an absence of the body of a beast isn't essential if your mental state matches the predatory nature of a Beast.
'There is a striking resemblance between the act of love and the ministrations of a torturer
'He approached his familiar treat with a weary appetite'
Shows the mentality of the Marquis and how he is a corrupted character and presents clear psychopathic traits.
Specifically shows the Marquis' treatment of women. The comparison between the woman and food shows the little respect the Marquis has for women and demonstrates why he feels his actions are justified and shows further objectification. This is a beast-like quality that exceeds any treatment that an actual "Beast" has in the other stories
p.14 'I clung to him as though only the one who had inflicted the pain could comfort me for suffering it.'
Heightens the violent nature of the Marquis. He has a lack of morals, is selfish and dangerous- more beastly.
p.26 'we do not hang the bloody sheets out of the window to prove you are a virgin'
We assume, as a human, that the Marquis is aware of what is accepted as the 'normal' way to act and how to treat others yet still behaves in inhumanely
Whereas the beast's (The Tigers Bride) natural instincts are animalistic as he is naturally an animal. The reader feels more empathetic towards him ironically presenting him as more humane.
Although the beasts do sometimes show the signs of being less humane, it is the surprisingly beastly actions of the human characters that come as being more ironic. The less humane actions are showcased by the male human characters of the stories. The fathers of both the Courtship of Mr Lyon and The Tiger's Bride show the greed and carelessness that make them less humane and the Marquis of The Bloody Chamber possesses the savage nature of males, overall making the human male characters less humane than the Beasts.
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