A level English Literature

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user/23
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#1
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#1
Hey , I'm a year 12 student , and I was wondering how to improve upon my essay writing . I feel as though i majorly overcomplicate my essays , and subsequently they loose their meaning /focus .Any advice , would be really helpful
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sophia_dossa
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(Original post by user/23)
Hey , I'm a year 12 student , and I was wondering how to improve upon my essay writing . I feel as though i majorly overcomplicate my essays , and subsequently they loose their meaning /focus .Any advice , would be really helpful
Hey, I'm year 13 and I have the same sort of problem too. From what I have learnt I would advise you to just make a note whilst doing your exam to 'keep to your argument', this is so you have a reminder and you dont fall into the trap of going to far with ideas that you lose your argument. Also, make sure your intro states your argument clearly, and every paragraph that has a topic sentence linking to this and a concluding sentence with how it links to your argument. The reason why people like u and me overcomplicate our essays is because we think too big, keep it simple but say a lot about your one argument. you could spend a whole paragraph analysing one quote into detail, just make sure you are always supporting your argument. I hope this helped
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user/23
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#3
(Original post by sophia_dossa)
Hey, I'm year 13 and I have the same sort of problem too. From what I have learnt I would advise you to just make a note whilst doing your exam to 'keep to your argument', this is so you have a reminder and you dont fall into the trap of going to far with ideas that you lose your argument. Also, make sure your intro states your argument clearly, and every paragraph that has a topic sentence linking to this and a concluding sentence with how it links to your argument. The reason why people like u and me overcomplicate our essays is because we think too big, keep it simple but say a lot about your one argument. you could spend a whole paragraph analysing one quote into detail, just make sure you are always supporting your argument. I hope this helped
This is super helpful , thankyou so much !!
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darrencoxon
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If you want to post a couple of paragraphs from your writing I can have a look and make suggestions.
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user/23
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(Original post by darrencoxon)
If you want to post a couple of paragraphs from your writing I can have a look and make suggestions.
Thankyou so much , I've pasted a paragraph from a homework question stating 'Write a critical appreciation of this passage , relating your discussion to your reading of the Gothic’
The narrator presents the establishing of the new woman , through the vocation of
her presumptive husband ,john , as she remarks ‘ John is to stay in town over night,
and won’t be out until this evening’ .Henceforth ,linking the text to that of the gothic
, it’s evident that the inauguration of the new woman ceases to reach it’s pinnacle
during the vocation of one’s husband .A rather contradictory theory in disparity to
the gothic trope of ‘ a damsel in distress’ ,whose main purpose is to evoke
heightened emotions engendering a woman to be rescued by the male protagonist .
However , this ideology is disassembled through the narrators utilisation of the
exclamatory sentence stating ‘ Jennie wanted to sleep with me -the sly thing!’
.Presenting both Jennie and the narrators diar contrast, through the literary device of
FOIL characters , acting as a metaphor for the women eternally incarcerated within
the oppressive patriarchy;in disparity to the new , strong wilded woman whose main
controller is that of her own self .This ideology is further affirmed through the
narrators continuous repetition placed upon the personal pronoun ‘I’ ,employed
within the ensuing sentence above , articulating ‘but I told her I should undoubtedly
rest better all alone’ .Evoking the ideology that John, her presumptive husband acts
as her main hindrance , demonstrating that the narrator exceeds the capabilities
bound to her by the oppressive, antiquated patriarchal society when she is detached
from her husband’s domineering presence.
Last edited by user/23; 7 months ago
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darrencoxon
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#6
Ok, you're right in that you're using too many 'clever' words. There's really no need. You can make this work far better by keeping the language simple and letting the ideas come through. For example:

The narrator presents the woman through the vocation of her husband John: she remarks ‘ John is to stay in town over night, and won’t be out until this evening’.

An alternative theory to the gothic trope of ‘a damsel in distress’, whose main purpose is to evoke heightened emotions through the woman being rescued by the male protagonist .


However , this ideology is challenged through the narrators utilisation of the exclamation 'Jennie wanted to sleep with me -the sly thing!’

It's vital you don't let language obscure what you're trying to say as this is often a sign to a teacher that you don't have much to say. You do, by the way - so put the thesaurus away and focus on clarity above all else.

Hope that helps.
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username5050312
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#7
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#7
(Original post by darrencoxon)
Ok, you're right in that you're using too many 'clever' words. There's really no need. You can make this work far better by keeping the language simple and letting the ideas come through. For example:

The narrator presents the woman through the vocation of her husband John: she remarks ‘ John is to stay in town over night, and won’t be out until this evening’.

An alternative theory to the gothic trope of ‘a damsel in distress’, whose main purpose is to evoke heightened emotions through the woman being rescued by the male protagonist .


However , this ideology is challenged through the narrators utilisation of the exclamation 'Jennie wanted to sleep with me -the sly thing!’

It's vital you don't let language obscure what you're trying to say as this is often a sign to a teacher that you don't have much to say. You do, by the way - so put the thesaurus away and focus on clarity above all else.

Hope that helps.
Hi Darren,
I'm also in year 12 doing English Lit. Maybe, you could give me some comments on my writing too? Here's the first essay I've had to write for the year: (BTW it's definitely too long for you to waste so much of your time on so you don't have to read it all. We had to compare "The Bloody Chamber" and "Snow Child" from Angela Carter's "The Bloody Chamber and other stories" book in relation to the given statement. Thanks)

“In Gothic writing, female characters are generally presented as victims.”

When exploring the comparison between Carter’s “The Bloody Chamber” and “Snow Child,” it becomes apparent that female characters are presented as victims: this is done by revealing the dominant ideology of patriarchy and how it confines females to societal norms, and by depicting the innocence/naivety present in Carter’s female protagonists and how this eventually leads to their ruination/downfall. Having said this, it is critical to note that there are a number of instances/characters (female) within Carter’s stories that battle against this victimisation or manage to completely flout the concept of victimhood.

In the “Snow Child” and “The Bloody Chamber,” Carter makes use of the idea of innocence and naivety as a mechanism to portray the victimisation of females. Both the titular character from the “Snow Child” and the unnamed protagonist of “The Bloody Chamber” manage to seize the roles of the vulnerable and naive female characters that reside within the traditions of the gothic genre. An extreme case of this trope is to be found in the “Snow Child” where the Snow Child is presented as an embodiment of submissiveness and child-like innocence. The Snow Child’s death is of little significance to the Count and Countess: the girl simply “bleeds”, “screams” and “falls.” The victimisation of the Snow Child is subsequently clear as the Count proceeds to harshly rape her, “[thrusting] his virile member into the dead girl”. From this, it is easy to see how the Snow Child - the embodiment of submissiveness and wordless innocence - is swindled of her virginity/innocence and quite literally killed by the perverted/distorted sexual ambitions of the Count or more widely speaking, the male gaze. Furthering this victimisation of the Snow Child, Carter deepens this message on the attack on all women by having the same rose “[bite]” the Countess after she picks it up: the rose, a floral symbol of femininity, is damaging to all women, not only because of the male gaze and the dominance of the patriarchy but because women themselves victimise other women in a twisted competition to attract the male’s attention. This very submissiveness and child-like innocence is reflected in the 17-yr old protagonist of “The Bloody Chamber.” Her intemperate curiosity and “potential for corruption” leads the innocent protagonist into the bloody chamber where she is unironically and metaphorically trapped, and eventually completely victimised when the Marquis transfers the bloodstain from the key to the protagonist’s forehead (a warning for the fate of all women who choose to remain naive and passive). And in the same manner that the Count “thrust his virile member” into the Snow Child, the Marquis “[impales] a dozen brides”. This violent terminology and the discomfort of the “dishevelled” protagonist is a clear reminder of how the act of sex has become a “one-sided struggle,” as the protagonist is practically a victim to rape in this mirrored room. And in this very scene, similar to the rose in the Snow Child in terms of an item of symbolic value, the only thing that the young bride wears is her “sonorous jewellery” or otherwise, her ruby choker. The Ruby Choker is a symbol of influence and control, depicting the protagonist simultaneously confined by the wealth of the Marquis and the restraints of the choker itself. It is as if the protagonist is made to be some sort of pet or leashed animal when she wears this Choker that is as “bright as arterial blood.” An analogy that accurately encompasses the treatment of the female protagonist and one that can be tied in with the degradation of women by hedonistic men in general.

Asides from the circumstantial/characteristic flaws of the female protagonists that eventually leads to their destruction, the norms of society and the archetypical views of culture also play a huge part in the victimisation of females present in gothic writing. Carter takes this to another level, in an attempt to bring forth the latent morals of Western folklore/fairy tales and the subconscious influence it has had on Western culture. When looking at the “Snow Child,” we can see this societal role being upheld by the Countess who is only a second-fiddle to the Count who takes up the lion’s share of dialogue throughout the short story- giving out all the commands that the two females are expected to subserviently follow. The Count’s transcendent power is obvious when he stops the Snow Child from doing things that the Countess asks, such as when she asks her to “get down to look for” the gloves she dropped or when she tells her to “fetch” the diamond brooch in the frozen pond. This chauvinistic and privileged representation of men is put into physical manifestation when the luxurious clothes spring from the Countess to the Snow Child: it is down to the Count whether the Countess has power and status. Not straying far from this ideology of luxury and power, the Marquis is an even greater example of how status and wealth in society can cover up for your malintent and inner evil. Based on Gilles de Rais, who was viewed as a national hero, the Marquis is highly regarded by those around him. This easily allows for the masochistic man to take advantage of the poor and innocent protagonist. He is dominant throughout, overpowering the protagonist via his experience in the bedroom and warping her experience of sexual self-discovery but also because he is as rich as “Croesus” and strongly accepted into society. Marital rape was only labelled as a legal offense late into the 20th century, so the protagonist would have no choice but to satisfy the Marquis’s sexual desires, whether this was consensual or not. The protagonist’s reluctance is clear as she proclaims that it is “broad daylight” before the Marquis coerces her into bed; and this parallels the Snow Child’s rape as she is not even alive to give her consent, with the Countess only able to watch the Count “narrowly,” even though she clearly disapproves, having to reign in her “stamping mare” like she does her fiery distaste and desire to protest to what is going on before her. Even beyond consent, the idea of love itself is looked down on as can be inferred at the start of “The Bloody Chamber” where the protagonist’s mother is said to have “beggared herself for love” and it is suggested that wealth and status cannot be obtained through this love. The protagonist is sure she “wants to marry [the Marquis]” but gives no comment on whether she loves him or not. Circumstance leaves the female character victimised by poverty itself, and to escape this poverty she must victimise herself in the presence of the Marquis’s voluptuous intent.

However, the way in which Carter attempts to tackle the victimization of women in both stories, is very different. In the “Snow Child” the eponymous character dies and is brutally raped in an act of incest and necrophilia, making it an extremely unsettling and gory story for the reader. This is meant to shock the reader into the reality of women’s objectification and how the Count’s “child of his desire” is a physical projection of his perfect woman- submissive, powerless and innocent/virgin. In this aspect, the Count and the Marquis alike, play into a sort of Madonna-***** complex, where they cannot receive sexual gratification from a female that has lost their virginity. They use women once and figuratively throw them aside, shown in the “Snow Child” when the Count rapes the girl before she had “melt” away and how the Marquis’s facade of calm broke away when he reached the “orgasm”. Carter explains that the Snow Child is a short story that intends to boil down the popular tale Snow White to its skeletal outline. By doing this, the reader can relate back to the story they are so familiar with and fully comprehend the sexual allegory hidden behind the words. In “The Bloody Chamber,” however, Carter uses a different approach; the mother of the female protagonist is the change that Carter wants to bring about. Almost as if Carter sees herself as the mother riding in on her metaphorical “frenzied horse” to save all women from a fate that they are doomed to if they do not resist against the male’s gaze. The mother is a completely outlying character, and one that does not traditionally fit the gothic genre. She is described as being “indomitable” and “eagle-featured”, having killed a “man-eating tiger” and “nursed a village through a visitation of the plague.” It is this mother that ends up saving the female protagonist, as opposed to the brothers in “Bluebeard”: Carter effectively employs this mother as a successful escapee of the victimhood that women are pushed to throughout their lives, and offers a strong edifying message out to the reader on the change that can occur within a woman’s life if her nature changes from that of innocence and naivety to assertion and defiance.

In closing, both of Carter’s stories show two different, varying female characters that manage to put a light up to the atrocities and victimhood that women are subjected to by the patriarchy through an insightful implementation of the gothic genre. However, whilst “The Bloody Chamber” shows the first person journey of the female protagonist from innocence to resistance, the “Snow Child” is a much more subversive story, with a dynamic theme running throughout the one and a half pages; the victimisation of women is exaggerated and societal norms are upturned as Carter wholly portrays the message about the objectification of women in today’s society.
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darrencoxon
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Hi - no problem - see below. This is pretty good but your paragraphs are too long and you occasionally also fall into the same trap of obscuring your ideas with too many words. A few comments in brackets which I hope help and a few suggestions for sentence rewrites are underlined.


When exploring the comparison between Carter’s “The Bloody Chamber” and “Snow Child,” it becomes apparent that female characters are presented as victims through revealing how the dominant ideology of patriarchy confines Carter's females to societal norms which eventually leads to their ruination/downfall. Having said this, it is critical to note that there are a number of instances/characters (female) within Carter’s stories that battle against this victimisation or manage to completely flout the concept of victimhood.


In the “Snow Child” and “The Bloody Chamber,” Carter makes use of the idea of innocence and naivety as a mechanism to portray the victimisation of females. Both the titular character from the “Snow Child” and the unnamed protagonist of “The Bloody Chamber” manage to seize the roles of the vulnerable and naive female characters that reside within the traditions of the gothic genre. An extreme case of this trope is to be found in the “Snow Child” where the Snow Child is presented as an embodiment of submissiveness and child-like innocence. The Snow Child’s death is of little significance to the Count and Countess: the girl simply “bleeds”, “screams” and “falls.” The victimisation of the Snow Child is subsequently clear as the Count proceeds to harshly rape her, “[thrusting] his virile member into the dead girl”. From this, it is easy to see how the Snow Child - the embodiment of submissiveness and wordless innocence - is swindled of her virginity/innocence and literally killed by the perverted/distorted sexual ambitions of the Count (or more widely speaking, the male gaze).

Furthering this victimisation of the Snow Child, Carter deepens this message on the attack on all women by having the same rose “[bite]” the Countess after she picks it up: the rose, a symbol of femininity, is damaging to all women, not only because of the male gaze and the patriarchal dominance but because women themselves victimise other women in a twisted competition to attract male attention. This very submissiveness and child-like innocence is reflected in the 17-yr old protagonist of “The Bloody Chamber.” Her intemperate curiosity and “potential for corruption” leads the innocent protagonist into the bloody chamber where she is unironically and metaphorically trapped, and eventually completely victimised when the Marquis transfers the bloodstain from the key to the protagonist’s forehead (a warning for the fate of all women who choose to remain naive and passive). In the same manner that the Count “thrust his virile member” into the Snow Child, the Marquis “[impales] a dozen brides”. This violent terminology and the discomfort of the “dishevelled” protagonist is a clear reminder of how the act of sex has become a “one-sided struggle,” as the protagonist is practically a victim to rape in this mirrored room. In this very scene, similar to the rose in the Snow Child in terms of an item of symbolic value, the only thing that the young bride wears is her “sonorous jewellery” or otherwise, her ruby choker. The Ruby Choker is a symbol of influence and control, depicting the protagonist simultaneously confined by the wealth of the Marquis and the restraints of the choker itself. It is as if the protagonist is made to be some sort of pet or leashed animal when she wears this Choker that is as “bright as arterial blood.” An analogy that accurately encompasses the treatment of the female protagonist and one that can be tied in with the degradation of women by hedonistic men in general.

Aside from the circumstantial/characteristic flaws of the female protagonists that eventually lead to their destruction, the norms of society and the archetypical views of culture also play a huge part in the victimisation of females present in gothic writing. Carter takes this to another level, in an attempt to bring forth the latent morals of Western folklore/fairy tales and the subconscious influence it has had on Western culture. When looking at the “Snow Child,” we can see this societal role being upheld by the Countess who is only a second-fiddle to the Count who takes up the lion’s share of dialogue throughout the short story- giving out all the commands that the two females are expected to subserviently follow. The Count’s transcendent power is obvious when he stops the Snow Child from doing things that the Countess asks, such as when she asks her to “get down to look for” the gloves she dropped or when she tells her to “fetch” the diamond brooch in the frozen pond. This chauvinistic and privileged representation of men is put into physical manifestation when the luxurious clothes spring from the Countess to the Snow Child: it is down to the Count whether the Countess has power and status.

Not straying far from this ideology of luxury and power, the Marquis is an even greater example of how status and wealth in society can cover up for your malintent and inner evil. Based on Gilles de Rais, who was viewed as a national hero, the Marquis is highly regarded by those around him. This easily allows for the masochistic man to take advantage of the poor and innocent protagonist. He is dominant throughout, overpowering the protagonist via his experience in the bedroom and warping her experience of sexual self-discovery but also because he is as rich as “Croesus” and strongly accepted into society. Marital rape was only labelled as a legal offense late into the 20th century, so the protagonist would have no choice but to satisfy the Marquis’s sexual desires, whether this was consensual or not. The protagonist’s reluctance is clear as she proclaims that it is “broad daylight” before the Marquis coerces her into bed; and this parallels the Snow Child’s rape as she is not even alive to give her consent, with the Countess only able to watch the Count “narrowly,” even though she clearly disapproves, having to reign in her “stamping mare” like she does her fiery distaste and desire to protest to what is going on before her. Even beyond consent, the idea of love itself is looked down on as can be inferred at the start of “The Bloody Chamber” where the protagonist’s mother is said to have “beggared herself for love” and it is suggested that wealth and status cannot be obtained through this love. The protagonist is sure she “wants to marry [the Marquis]” but gives no comment on whether she loves him or not. Circumstance leaves the female character victimised by poverty itself, and to escape this poverty she must victimise herself in the presence of the Marquis’s voluptuous intent.

However, Carter tackles the victimization of women in both stories in different ways. In the “Snow Child” the eponymous character dies and is brutally raped in an act of incest and necrophilia, making it an extremely unsettling and gory story for the reader [this is a GCSE style of comment - think better how you can say this]. This is meant to shock the reader into the reality of women’s objectification and how the Count’s “child of his desire” is a physical projection of his perfect woman - a submissive, powerless, innocent virgin. In this aspect, the Count and the Marquis alike, play into a sort of Madonna-***** [the word you're looking for is *****] complex, where they cannot receive sexual gratification from a female that has lost their virginity [are you sure this is the correct term? Madonna/***** refers to the way in which the male gaze sees women in terms of binary opposites]. They [who?] use women once and figuratively throw them aside, shown in the “Snow Child” when the Count rapes the girl before she had “melt” away and how the Marquis’s facade of calm broke away when he reached the “orgasm”. Carter explains that the Snow Child is a short story that intends to boil down the popular tale Snow White to its skeletal outline. By doing this, the reader can relate back to the story they are so familiar with and fully comprehend the sexual allegory hidden behind the words. In “The Bloody Chamber,” however, Carter uses a different approach; the mother of the female protagonist is the change that Carter wants to bring about. Almost as if Carter sees herself as the mother riding in on her metaphorical “frenzied horse” to save all women from a fate that they are doomed to if they do not resist the male gaze. The mother is a completely outlying character, and one that does not traditionally fit the gothic genre. She is described as being “indomitable” and “eagle-featured”, having killed a “man-eating tiger” and “nursed a village through a visitation of the plague.” It is this mother that ends up saving the female protagonist, as opposed to the brothers in “Bluebeard”: Carter effectively employs this mother as a successful escapee of the victimhood that women are pushed to throughout their lives, and offers a strong edifying message out to the reader on the change that can occur within a woman’s life if her nature changes from that of innocence and naivety to assertion and defiance.

In closing, both of Carter’s stories show two different, varying female characters that manage to highlight the atrocities and victimhood that women are subjected to by the patriarchy through an insightful implementation of the gothic genre [this doesn't make much sense - perhaps manage to explore ways in which Carter's stories highlight the very worse of patriarchal control and dominance?]. However, whilst “The Bloody Chamber” shows the first person journey of the female protagonist from innocence to resistance, the “Snow Child” is a more subversive story, with a dynamic theme running throughout the one and a half pages; the victimisation of women is exaggerated and societal norms are upturned as Carter wholly portrays the message about the objectification of women in today’s society.
Last edited by darrencoxon; 7 months ago
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darrencoxon
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#9
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#9
I've just noticed that TSR have blocked the word 'wh*re' from the above. Fair enough I guess!
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lcvedingdong
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#10
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(Original post by cleveranimal56)
Hi Darren,
I'm also in year 12 doing English Lit. Maybe, you could give me some comments on my writing too? Here's the first essay I've had to write for the year: (BTW it's definitely too long for you to waste so much of your time on so you don't have to read it all. We had to compare "The Bloody Chamber" and "Snow Child" from Angela Carter's "The Bloody Chamber and other stories" book in relation to the given statement. Thanks)

“In Gothic writing, female characters are generally presented as victims.”

When exploring the comparison between Carter’s “The Bloody Chamber” and “Snow Child,” it becomes apparent that female characters are presented as victims: this is done by revealing the dominant ideology of patriarchy and how it confines females to societal norms, and by depicting the innocence/naivety present in Carter’s female protagonists and how this eventually leads to their ruination/downfall. Having said this, it is critical to note that there are a number of instances/characters (female) within Carter’s stories that battle against this victimisation or manage to completely flout the concept of victimhood.

In the “Snow Child” and “The Bloody Chamber,” Carter makes use of the idea of innocence and naivety as a mechanism to portray the victimisation of females. Both the titular character from the “Snow Child” and the unnamed protagonist of “The Bloody Chamber” manage to seize the roles of the vulnerable and naive female characters that reside within the traditions of the gothic genre. An extreme case of this trope is to be found in the “Snow Child” where the Snow Child is presented as an embodiment of submissiveness and child-like innocence. The Snow Child’s death is of little significance to the Count and Countess: the girl simply “bleeds”, “screams” and “falls.” The victimisation of the Snow Child is subsequently clear as the Count proceeds to harshly rape her, “[thrusting] his virile member into the dead girl”. From this, it is easy to see how the Snow Child - the embodiment of submissiveness and wordless innocence - is swindled of her virginity/innocence and quite literally killed by the perverted/distorted sexual ambitions of the Count or more widely speaking, the male gaze. Furthering this victimisation of the Snow Child, Carter deepens this message on the attack on all women by having the same rose “[bite]” the Countess after she picks it up: the rose, a floral symbol of femininity, is damaging to all women, not only because of the male gaze and the dominance of the patriarchy but because women themselves victimise other women in a twisted competition to attract the male’s attention. This very submissiveness and child-like innocence is reflected in the 17-yr old protagonist of “The Bloody Chamber.” Her intemperate curiosity and “potential for corruption” leads the innocent protagonist into the bloody chamber where she is unironically and metaphorically trapped, and eventually completely victimised when the Marquis transfers the bloodstain from the key to the protagonist’s forehead (a warning for the fate of all women who choose to remain naive and passive). And in the same manner that the Count “thrust his virile member” into the Snow Child, the Marquis “[impales] a dozen brides”. This violent terminology and the discomfort of the “dishevelled” protagonist is a clear reminder of how the act of sex has become a “one-sided struggle,” as the protagonist is practically a victim to rape in this mirrored room. And in this very scene, similar to the rose in the Snow Child in terms of an item of symbolic value, the only thing that the young bride wears is her “sonorous jewellery” or otherwise, her ruby choker. The Ruby Choker is a symbol of influence and control, depicting the protagonist simultaneously confined by the wealth of the Marquis and the restraints of the choker itself. It is as if the protagonist is made to be some sort of pet or leashed animal when she wears this Choker that is as “bright as arterial blood.” An analogy that accurately encompasses the treatment of the female protagonist and one that can be tied in with the degradation of women by hedonistic men in general.

Asides from the circumstantial/characteristic flaws of the female protagonists that eventually leads to their destruction, the norms of society and the archetypical views of culture also play a huge part in the victimisation of females present in gothic writing. Carter takes this to another level, in an attempt to bring forth the latent morals of Western folklore/fairy tales and the subconscious influence it has had on Western culture. When looking at the “Snow Child,” we can see this societal role being upheld by the Countess who is only a second-fiddle to the Count who takes up the lion’s share of dialogue throughout the short story- giving out all the commands that the two females are expected to subserviently follow. The Count’s transcendent power is obvious when he stops the Snow Child from doing things that the Countess asks, such as when she asks her to “get down to look for” the gloves she dropped or when she tells her to “fetch” the diamond brooch in the frozen pond. This chauvinistic and privileged representation of men is put into physical manifestation when the luxurious clothes spring from the Countess to the Snow Child: it is down to the Count whether the Countess has power and status. Not straying far from this ideology of luxury and power, the Marquis is an even greater example of how status and wealth in society can cover up for your malintent and inner evil. Based on Gilles de Rais, who was viewed as a national hero, the Marquis is highly regarded by those around him. This easily allows for the masochistic man to take advantage of the poor and innocent protagonist. He is dominant throughout, overpowering the protagonist via his experience in the bedroom and warping her experience of sexual self-discovery but also because he is as rich as “Croesus” and strongly accepted into society. Marital rape was only labelled as a legal offense late into the 20th century, so the protagonist would have no choice but to satisfy the Marquis’s sexual desires, whether this was consensual or not. The protagonist’s reluctance is clear as she proclaims that it is “broad daylight” before the Marquis coerces her into bed; and this parallels the Snow Child’s rape as she is not even alive to give her consent, with the Countess only able to watch the Count “narrowly,” even though she clearly disapproves, having to reign in her “stamping mare” like she does her fiery distaste and desire to protest to what is going on before her. Even beyond consent, the idea of love itself is looked down on as can be inferred at the start of “The Bloody Chamber” where the protagonist’s mother is said to have “beggared herself for love” and it is suggested that wealth and status cannot be obtained through this love. The protagonist is sure she “wants to marry [the Marquis]” but gives no comment on whether she loves him or not. Circumstance leaves the female character victimised by poverty itself, and to escape this poverty she must victimise herself in the presence of the Marquis’s voluptuous intent.

However, the way in which Carter attempts to tackle the victimization of women in both stories, is very different. In the “Snow Child” the eponymous character dies and is brutally raped in an act of incest and necrophilia, making it an extremely unsettling and gory story for the reader. This is meant to shock the reader into the reality of women’s objectification and how the Count’s “child of his desire” is a physical projection of his perfect woman- submissive, powerless and innocent/virgin. In this aspect, the Count and the Marquis alike, play into a sort of Madonna-***** complex, where they cannot receive sexual gratification from a female that has lost their virginity. They use women once and figuratively throw them aside, shown in the “Snow Child” when the Count rapes the girl before she had “melt” away and how the Marquis’s facade of calm broke away when he reached the “orgasm”. Carter explains that the Snow Child is a short story that intends to boil down the popular tale Snow White to its skeletal outline. By doing this, the reader can relate back to the story they are so familiar with and fully comprehend the sexual allegory hidden behind the words. In “The Bloody Chamber,” however, Carter uses a different approach; the mother of the female protagonist is the change that Carter wants to bring about. Almost as if Carter sees herself as the mother riding in on her metaphorical “frenzied horse” to save all women from a fate that they are doomed to if they do not resist against the male’s gaze. The mother is a completely outlying character, and one that does not traditionally fit the gothic genre. She is described as being “indomitable” and “eagle-featured”, having killed a “man-eating tiger” and “nursed a village through a visitation of the plague.” It is this mother that ends up saving the female protagonist, as opposed to the brothers in “Bluebeard”: Carter effectively employs this mother as a successful escapee of the victimhood that women are pushed to throughout their lives, and offers a strong edifying message out to the reader on the change that can occur within a woman’s life if her nature changes from that of innocence and naivety to assertion and defiance.

In closing, both of Carter’s stories show two different, varying female characters that manage to put a light up to the atrocities and victimhood that women are subjected to by the patriarchy through an insightful implementation of the gothic genre. However, whilst “The Bloody Chamber” shows the first person journey of the female protagonist from innocence to resistance, the “Snow Child” is a much more subversive story, with a dynamic theme running throughout the one and a half pages; the victimisation of women is exaggerated and societal norms are upturned as Carter wholly portrays the message about the objectification of women in today’s society.
woah

Also what texts do you do at ur sixth form?

We do Edexcel and we are focusing on - A street car named desire, The handmaids tale and Frankenstein.
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username5050312
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#11
Report 7 months ago
#11
(Original post by darrencoxon)
Hi - no problem - see below. This is pretty good but your paragraphs are too long and you occasionally also fall into the same trap of obscuring your ideas with too many words. A few comments in brackets which I hope help and a few suggestions for sentence rewrites are underlined.


When exploring the comparison between Carter’s “The Bloody Chamber” and “Snow Child,” it becomes apparent that female characters are presented as victims through revealing how the dominant ideology of patriarchy confines Carter's females to societal norms which eventually leads to their ruination/downfall. Having said this, it is critical to note that there are a number of instances/characters (female) within Carter’s stories that battle against this victimisation or manage to completely flout the concept of victimhood.


In the “Snow Child” and “The Bloody Chamber,” Carter makes use of the idea of innocence and naivety as a mechanism to portray the victimisation of females. Both the titular character from the “Snow Child” and the unnamed protagonist of “The Bloody Chamber” manage to seize the roles of the vulnerable and naive female characters that reside within the traditions of the gothic genre. An extreme case of this trope is to be found in the “Snow Child” where the Snow Child is presented as an embodiment of submissiveness and child-like innocence. The Snow Child’s death is of little significance to the Count and Countess: the girl simply “bleeds”, “screams” and “falls.” The victimisation of the Snow Child is subsequently clear as the Count proceeds to harshly rape her, “[thrusting] his virile member into the dead girl”. From this, it is easy to see how the Snow Child - the embodiment of submissiveness and wordless innocence - is swindled of her virginity/innocence and literally killed by the perverted/distorted sexual ambitions of the Count (or more widely speaking, the male gaze).

Furthering this victimisation of the Snow Child, Carter deepens this message on the attack on all women by having the same rose “[bite]” the Countess after she picks it up: the rose, a symbol of femininity, is damaging to all women, not only because of the male gaze and the patriarchal dominance but because women themselves victimise other women in a twisted competition to attract male attention. This very submissiveness and child-like innocence is reflected in the 17-yr old protagonist of “The Bloody Chamber.” Her intemperate curiosity and “potential for corruption” leads the innocent protagonist into the bloody chamber where she is unironically and metaphorically trapped, and eventually completely victimised when the Marquis transfers the bloodstain from the key to the protagonist’s forehead (a warning for the fate of all women who choose to remain naive and passive). In the same manner that the Count “thrust his virile member” into the Snow Child, the Marquis “[impales] a dozen brides”. This violent terminology and the discomfort of the “dishevelled” protagonist is a clear reminder of how the act of sex has become a “one-sided struggle,” as the protagonist is practically a victim to rape in this mirrored room. In this very scene, similar to the rose in the Snow Child in terms of an item of symbolic value, the only thing that the young bride wears is her “sonorous jewellery” or otherwise, her ruby choker. The Ruby Choker is a symbol of influence and control, depicting the protagonist simultaneously confined by the wealth of the Marquis and the restraints of the choker itself. It is as if the protagonist is made to be some sort of pet or leashed animal when she wears this Choker that is as “bright as arterial blood.” An analogy that accurately encompasses the treatment of the female protagonist and one that can be tied in with the degradation of women by hedonistic men in general.

Aside from the circumstantial/characteristic flaws of the female protagonists that eventually lead to their destruction, the norms of society and the archetypical views of culture also play a huge part in the victimisation of females present in gothic writing. Carter takes this to another level, in an attempt to bring forth the latent morals of Western folklore/fairy tales and the subconscious influence it has had on Western culture. When looking at the “Snow Child,” we can see this societal role being upheld by the Countess who is only a second-fiddle to the Count who takes up the lion’s share of dialogue throughout the short story- giving out all the commands that the two females are expected to subserviently follow. The Count’s transcendent power is obvious when he stops the Snow Child from doing things that the Countess asks, such as when she asks her to “get down to look for” the gloves she dropped or when she tells her to “fetch” the diamond brooch in the frozen pond. This chauvinistic and privileged representation of men is put into physical manifestation when the luxurious clothes spring from the Countess to the Snow Child: it is down to the Count whether the Countess has power and status.

Not straying far from this ideology of luxury and power, the Marquis is an even greater example of how status and wealth in society can cover up for your malintent and inner evil. Based on Gilles de Rais, who was viewed as a national hero, the Marquis is highly regarded by those around him. This easily allows for the masochistic man to take advantage of the poor and innocent protagonist. He is dominant throughout, overpowering the protagonist via his experience in the bedroom and warping her experience of sexual self-discovery but also because he is as rich as “Croesus” and strongly accepted into society. Marital rape was only labelled as a legal offense late into the 20th century, so the protagonist would have no choice but to satisfy the Marquis’s sexual desires, whether this was consensual or not. The protagonist’s reluctance is clear as she proclaims that it is “broad daylight” before the Marquis coerces her into bed; and this parallels the Snow Child’s rape as she is not even alive to give her consent, with the Countess only able to watch the Count “narrowly,” even though she clearly disapproves, having to reign in her “stamping mare” like she does her fiery distaste and desire to protest to what is going on before her. Even beyond consent, the idea of love itself is looked down on as can be inferred at the start of “The Bloody Chamber” where the protagonist’s mother is said to have “beggared herself for love” and it is suggested that wealth and status cannot be obtained through this love. The protagonist is sure she “wants to marry [the Marquis]” but gives no comment on whether she loves him or not. Circumstance leaves the female character victimised by poverty itself, and to escape this poverty she must victimise herself in the presence of the Marquis’s voluptuous intent.

However, Carter tackles the victimization of women in both stories in different ways. In the “Snow Child” the eponymous character dies and is brutally raped in an act of incest and necrophilia, making it an extremely unsettling and gory story for the reader [this is a GCSE style of comment - think better how you can say this]. This is meant to shock the reader into the reality of women’s objectification and how the Count’s “child of his desire” is a physical projection of his perfect woman - a submissive, powerless, innocent virgin. In this aspect, the Count and the Marquis alike, play into a sort of Madonna-***** [the word you're looking for is *****] complex, where they cannot receive sexual gratification from a female that has lost their virginity [are you sure this is the correct term? Madonna/***** refers to the way in which the male gaze sees women in terms of binary opposites]. They [who?] use women once and figuratively throw them aside, shown in the “Snow Child” when the Count rapes the girl before she had “melt” away and how the Marquis’s facade of calm broke away when he reached the “orgasm”. Carter explains that the Snow Child is a short story that intends to boil down the popular tale Snow White to its skeletal outline. By doing this, the reader can relate back to the story they are so familiar with and fully comprehend the sexual allegory hidden behind the words. In “The Bloody Chamber,” however, Carter uses a different approach; the mother of the female protagonist is the change that Carter wants to bring about. Almost as if Carter sees herself as the mother riding in on her metaphorical “frenzied horse” to save all women from a fate that they are doomed to if they do not resist the male gaze. The mother is a completely outlying character, and one that does not traditionally fit the gothic genre. She is described as being “indomitable” and “eagle-featured”, having killed a “man-eating tiger” and “nursed a village through a visitation of the plague.” It is this mother that ends up saving the female protagonist, as opposed to the brothers in “Bluebeard”: Carter effectively employs this mother as a successful escapee of the victimhood that women are pushed to throughout their lives, and offers a strong edifying message out to the reader on the change that can occur within a woman’s life if her nature changes from that of innocence and naivety to assertion and defiance.

In closing, both of Carter’s stories show two different, varying female characters that manage to highlight the atrocities and victimhood that women are subjected to by the patriarchy through an insightful implementation of the gothic genre [this doesn't make much sense - perhaps manage to explore ways in which Carter's stories highlight the very worse of patriarchal control and dominance?]. However, whilst “The Bloody Chamber” shows the first person journey of the female protagonist from innocence to resistance, the “Snow Child” is a more subversive story, with a dynamic theme running throughout the one and a half pages; the victimisation of women is exaggerated and societal norms are upturned as Carter wholly portrays the message about the objectification of women in today’s society.
Thanks a lot! This is must have been a hella tonne of work! Idk why but this didn't pop up in my notifications, so sorry that I couldn't reply earlier. My paragraphs are definitely too long: it was meant to be a 1 page essay, but I got carried away and nearly done 3 lol. Thanks again for correcting all my errors, I'll take this all on board
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username5050312
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#12
Report 7 months ago
#12
(Original post by lcvedingdong)
woah

Also what texts do you do at ur sixth form?

We do Edexcel and we are focusing on - A street car named desire, The handmaids tale and Frankenstein.
Thanks, but it's really bad, as pointed out by the numerous errors found by darren lol. It's my first essay for year 12 though, and I kinda knew I was waffling so hopefully I'll improve as I get more help.

I'm doing The Bloody Chamber, Dracula, The Duchess of Malfi, and a few others I don't know yet.
-Atm I'm doing "The Bloody Chamber" and "The Duchess of Malfi" though.

My board is OCR.
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darrencoxon
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#13
Report 7 months ago
#13
(Original post by cleveranimal56)
Thanks, but it's really bad, as pointed out by the numerous errors found by darren lol. It's my first essay for year 12 though, and I kinda knew I was waffling so hopefully I'll improve as I get more help.

I'm doing The Bloody Chamber, Dracula, The Duchess of Malfi, and a few others I don't know yet.
-Atm I'm doing "The Bloody Chamber" and "The Duchess of Malfi" though.

My board is OCR.
It’s not really bad. For someone just starting year 12 it’s actually impressive. You should be looking at an A grade by the end of the course. For both of the above I’d just look to keeping the writing simple and clear in structure to let the ideas come through.
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darrencoxon
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#14
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#14
(Original post by cleveranimal56)
Thanks a lot! This is must have been a hella tonne of work! Idk why but this didn't pop up in my notifications, so sorry that I couldn't reply earlier. My paragraphs are definitely too long: it was meant to be a 1 page essay, but I got carried away and nearly done 3 lol. Thanks again for correcting all my errors, I'll take this all on board
No problem - happy to help
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succubus666
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#15
Report 7 months ago
#15
(Original post by lcvedingdong)
woah

Also what texts do you do at ur sixth form?

We do Edexcel and we are focusing on - A street car named desire, The handmaids tale and Frankenstein.
i do that too!
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lcvedingdong
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#16
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#16
(Original post by succubus666)
i do that too!
What other options do you do?
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succubus666
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#17
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#17
(Original post by lcvedingdong)
What other options do you do?
Christina Rossetti poems, poems of the decade, othello
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lcvedingdong
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#18
Report 7 months ago
#18
(Original post by succubus666)
Christina Rossetti poems, poems of the decade, othello
omg same
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lcvedingdong
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#19
Report 7 months ago
#19
(Original post by cleveranimal56)
Thanks, but it's really bad, as pointed out by the numerous errors found by darren lol. It's my first essay for year 12 though, and I kinda knew I was waffling so hopefully I'll improve as I get more help.

I'm doing The Bloody Chamber, Dracula, The Duchess of Malfi, and a few others I don't know yet.
-Atm I'm doing "The Bloody Chamber" and "The Duchess of Malfi" though.

My board is OCR.
I love the way you write your essays like the way you formulate the words in so perfectly without waffling over the same point. Instead you move onto the next. Its really amazing and we need to take into consideration this is your first year 12 essay, we've been off for more than 6 weeks.
I had an essay due in and I kid you not I waffled my way through to the point I didnt answer the exact question oh well, hopefully I get back to my old essay writing style!

Those texts sound hella interesting.
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#20
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#20
(Original post by lcvedingdong)
omg same
I can’t reply to your message idk why but sure
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