24 November 2015
Feminism in “The Company of Wolves”
Angela Carter’s text titled “The Company of Wolves”, published in The Bloody Chamber an other
stories novel in 1979 and filmed in 1984 as the same name directed by Neil Jordan. This story was made
in the genre of fantasy-horror, which combines two fantasy and horror genres. The literature’s location is
London, England, the center of the British Postmodernist writers. This text is a short fiction and written in
the Magic Realist and Postmodern style. The subject matter of this literature is a real image of jealousy and
contrast between males and females, who contributed to the society in England, Europe, during the Vic-
torian era between 1840 and 1900. Feminism is a theme of this story to show the Women’s rights against
Carter is one of the Feminist writers, who wrote the strong plot is based on Feminism.
The plot of “The Company of Wolves” describes how to change a face of human to wolf, symbol
of jealousy and violence; in other words, wolf is a symbol of the male who strive to replace the female
and reach an absolute position as they expect. This story is set by the “girl” as a pratagonist, heroine, and
“wolves” as the antihero characters and is located in the winter and cold forest as a dark location to display
the dark society in the modern World and also, the granny’s house; That means people who lived in Eu-
rope had been changed during the Industrialization era and preferred a hunor over emotion and morality.
Angela tries to show the elements of Feminism such as “feminary” anad “female” in this fiction.
The style of “The Company of Wolves” is a Postmodern and Magic Realism. Pastiche is one of the
characteristics of this text to show the blending of two or more Feminism tales such as the British and
Gothic fiction, which combines the horror and romance stories. Another fact is a death of narrator (author)
of this story. The reason is hearing just a single voice during the fiction to show the universality of human
rights such as the women’s rights. Carter uses the symbols of Feminism in this literature; for instance,
sheep and goat are the symbols of the female and, on the otherside, wolf is a symbol of the masked male.
The narrator says: “There was a hunter once, near here, that trapped a wolf in a pit. This wolf had massa-
cred the sheep and goats”(1). Carter tends to be use Magic Realism to dramatize this fiction. This text ends
by the magic element same as disappointment of the author and demonstrates the sleeping of woman
between the paws of wolf. This emotional image of the ending of story seems to be a vivid and magical.
Carter is one of the Postmodern novelist, who utilizes the disorganized writing pattern.
The pattern of “The Company of Wolves” is a classification of narration and dialogs in the differ-
ent parts. Some of these dialogs are the rhetorical questions such as “Who’s there?“ (5) and some of them
are the short answers such as “A kiss“ (4). Also, some of these dialogs are the exclamation sentences such
as “What big teeth you have!“ (6), to better illustration of the character’s reaction and Femisnist elements;
however, Carter tries to clearly show the movement and Femisnist development during this story includes
the old english words such as “integument“ and “prothalamion“ (6). Disorganization is an obvious written
pattern of “The Company of Wolves” same as nonlinear structure of the story and flashback and flashfor-
ward during this fiction. The opening statement of this fiction is: “One beast and only one howls in the
woods by night“ (1); whereas, the story ends by this paragraph: ”See! sweet and sound she sleep in gran-
ny’s bed, between the paws of the tender wolf” (6). As shown above, there isn’t a logical order between the
beginning and the ending of the fiction; in other words, this story breaks up on the granny’s house and
forest. Also, repetition is an obvious pattern of the story such as: “The blizzard will die down“ and “The
blizzard died down“ (6).
Angela uses some figures of speech to better display of the elements of Feminism.
In terms of the figures of speech in “The Company of Wolves”, there is a paradox between the be-
ginning and the ending of this story such as a contrast between “howl of wolf” (6) and “paws of the tender
wolf“ (6), means “wolf” seems to be a both peaceful and angry!. Another term is metaphor such as “howls”
is derived by the scream of the men against the women or the image of weakness of the women’s role in the
modern society (1). Simile is an another figure of speech in this text such as “At night the eyes of wolves
shine like candle glames, yellowish, reddish“ (1), means the horrific face of men is similar to the face of
“wolf“. Another interesting the figure of speech is hyperbole such as “The wolfsong is the sound of the
rending you will suffer, in itself a murdering“ (1), to show the exaggerated and horrifying song of the wolf,
song of the man. Overall, the figures of speech help to create the imagery and cultural story.
Carter asserts to show the cultural story with the Feminism background.
“The Company of Wolves” is a great fiction to display the culture of England, generally, Europe in
the historical movement. In the Victorian era, vast majority of the females was activated through the soci-
ety; for instance, after the Industrial Revolution, women was working in the factories and offices. Most of
those were labors and low-level employees, who worked under the hard conditions; Therefore, the females
tended to be an activist against the unfair laws in England.
Angela sinks in the basic principles of Feminist theory in this story.
The theme of “The Company of Wolves” is Feminism. This theory explains the unequal relationship
between men and women; in other words, Feminism is an ideology against the man’s authority. During this
story, the principles of Feminist theory such as “inequality“ and “oppressive law“ are viewed; for example,
the narrator as a second person POV describes the unequal and dark condition and says: “You are always
in danger in the forest, where no people are“ (1). Oppressive law is an another principle of Feminism is used
in this text same as the forest law. The narrator expresses: “if you stray from the path for one instant, the
wolves will eat you“ (1), means the danger movement of women in the lifetime.
Carter combines both the social and political conditions in this fiction.
“The Company of Wolves” describes the image of village in England correctly and sharply; for
instance, the narrator says: “The grave-eyed children of the sparse villages always carry knives with them
when they go out to tend the little folks of goats“ (1). This sentence seems to be the vivid image of the village
society in the Victorain era; however, this story expresses the tension and conflict between the males and
females such as: “Their knives are half as big as they are, the blades are sharpened daily“ (1). That means the
young girls are ready to fight over men with the sharpen blades! obviously, the Feminist solution is ob-
served, defence for the Wemen’s right.
With “The Company of Wolves”, Angela focuses on the the Victorian era.
The Victorian era started on 1840 and ended on 1900. During this era, most of the Moderinst
elements such as the “Factory“ and “skyscape“ were built in the big cities; thus, the society of Europe and
America had been changed and transmitted to the Modernism. In this era, most idealogies were founded
such as Feminism and Socialism, which defines the principles of the modern society. Even though, Femi-
nism is the historical and social movement to assert the female powers and Weman’s rights. The narrator
says: “She closed the window on the wolves’ threnody and took off her scarlet shawl“ (5); means the main
character fights over the wolves, symbol of the masked man, to reach out the principles of Feminist theory.
In conclusion, Angela Carter combines the Magic Realism and Feminism in “The Company of
Wolves” and tries to show the negative image of the British society. She challanges the psychological action
and reaction between the males and females and also, an effect of technology and industrialization upon
the human life. Jealousy, contrast, and defiance are the human attitude on Angela’s belief. I believe this text
is achived to demonstarte the culture and society of the Victorian era; Indeed, my opinion in relation to
European society has been changed and attracted to the Feminism movement in the different time periods.
1- Carter, Angela. “The Company of Wolves”. The Bloody Chamber an other stories. England: 1979. Print.
2- The Company of Wolves. Dir. Neil Jordan. Palace Productions, 1984. Film. UK.
3- “The Company of Wolves”, WIKIPEDIA, 11 Nov. 2015. Web. 6 May 2014.