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'The Snow Child' By Angela Carter
Transcript of 'The Snow Child' By Angela Carter
By Angela Carter Carter adapted "The Snow Child" from a Grimm Brothers version of the story, in which the father and not the mother wishes for the child. Carter uses this fact to her advantage, in order to portray masculine control of female identity. 'The Snow Child' can be considered horrific and shocking - but what do other people think? Cristina Bacchilega calls the Snow Child "a masculine fantasy," a frozen image without a real life of her own. From a literary perspective, the Count is in the position of author; he has the power to say something and make it so. Mary Kaiser writes that the Countess is also a pornographic image in relation to the Count. She belongs to him because she has significance as Countess only in relation to him as Count. Is is designed just to be shocking? Analysis of the Text The Countess 'pelts of black foxes' 'high, black, shining boots with scarlet heels.' 'How shall I be rid of her?' 'bare as a bone' 'with her long had she stroked her furs' Snow White? The Count Snow Blood Raven A lot of negative raven symbolism comes about from their appearance on battlefields. They are scavengers (and curious to a fault), and are often seen picking at mangled remains of fallen warriors on battle grounds.
Purity, a blanket - or disguise? Death, danger Loss of virginity and arrival of puberty I wish for... 'The Child of his desire' 'So the girl picks a rose; pricks her finger on the thorn; bleeds; screams; falls.' Coldness, bloodthirstiness and fatality. An icon in Gothic Literature Edgar Allan Poe's 'The Raven' 'fathers the girl of his dreams' Graphic Necrophilia (we couldn't really NOT talk about this, could we?) Perfection of natural beauty combined with thorns The symbols employed of the brooch, rose and gloves
seem to stand for a sort of affection that is transferred
from older generations to younger women.
There is a sense of irony in this interpretation, as the Countess'
deception is simply to rid her of the beautiful child.
Fairy tale conventions:
Deception of the beautiful child by the evil stepmother. Most extreme image in the whole collection The countess is reduced to spectator for a short while, what is carter suggesting about male/female relationships? Does the Countess know the Count would rather indulge himself with dead fantasies than accept her as she really is? The Count is left unscathed and unpunished,
the rose only 'bites' the Countess. The woman is aware
of the consequences of her actions, and so it can only hurt her. Footnote in a study guide:
Virile member: the phallus or erect penis
[in case you were wondering ;)]