Author: Angela Carter.
Ok before some feminists start sharpening their pitchforks, I actually like Angela Carter, i.e. The Bloody Chamber. I just had mixed feelings about this one. It was massively psychophysical and politically heavy in its commentary. I loved certain things and hated others. Let’s break this down.
So the story is about Evelyn who is forced to go on a journey to discover the truth behind gender. Fair enough, you say. But he is transformed into a woman through a forced gender change through castration and mental adjustment. Yeah it’s mad. And basically how she loses all her presumptions about gender, de-constructs it and goes into the world with a blank slate. Grand, says you. Well let me go into what I enjoyed first.
I liked the deconstruction of gender and how Carter highlighted the myth and construction of gender. That was well done. I enjoyed the critique of patriarchy and how she wanted to destroy it. I thought it was good how she showed the abuse that women went through and we got a first hand glimpse at the experience of women and what they go through. I understood all the philosophical stuff and I agreed with it.
What I didn’t like was the castration scene, that was so uncomfortable I had to stop reading. Also Mother tried to impregnate the newly female Eve with her own semen from when she was a man. Like WHAT THE HELL?? Also the forced sex change. Hated that. A lot of vivid, graphic rape. No thanks. At times the plot was incoherent.
All in all. I get what she’s trying to say in terms of gender politics, and I’m 100% in agreement with her message, but the way she wrote this was bizarre. It was random and graphic and I didn’t enjoy reading it. I don’t know, just not for me I suppose. There’s better Carter material, I think.