The Bloody Chamber - the story

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The Bloody Chamber - the story

  1. 1. The Bloody Chamber
  2. 2. Bluebeard Bluebeard is a character from a French folk tale. He is extremely rich and has been married several times, but no-one knows what happened to these other wives. His newest wife is given a set of keys to the castle, with instructions that she can go anywhere apart from one specific room. Obviously, this is too tempting to resist, and she discovers the remains of all of Bluebeard’s former wives. She drops the key in fright, and it is stained with blood from the floor, which won’t wash off. Bluebeard sees the blood on the key and knows she has been in his secret room. He is about to kill her when she is rescued by her brothers who kill Bluebeard. She then inherits all of his money and property.
  3. 3. Our Heroine Make notes on how Carter presents the narrator of the story in pages 1-6, focusing on: • Her attitudes • Her behaviour • Her appearance • Her decision to marry the Marquis
  4. 4. The Castle Make notes on the setting of the story, focusing on pages 6-19.
  5. 5. The central relationship (1) How would you reflect on the relationship between the narrator and the Marquis in pages 1-19? Consider: • Power • Sexual desire
  6. 6. The Bloody Chamber itself “There is a striking resemblance between the act of love and the ministrations of a torturer.” Explore Carter’s presentation of the chamber in pages 26-28.
  7. 7. The central relationship (2) How does the narrator’s relationship with JeanYves compare to her relationship with the Marquis? (Pages 30-38)
  8. 8. The Rescue “You never saw such a wild thing as my mother…” In the original French story, the heroine was rescued by her brothers. Why do you think Carter makes the heroine’s mother the rescuer? What are the effects of this? (pages 40-41)
  9. 9. Reflection The character of the Marquis is arguably the most sinister and dangerous in the collection. What makes him such a villain? Compare him to some of the other characters we have studied.

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