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The Bloody Chamber
With reference to at least two stories, explore the significance of the natural world in The Bloody Chamber.
‘She smiled at herself in mirrors a little too often these days.’ What do you think is the significance of mirrors in The Bloody Chamber?
‘The transformative power of love is evident in many of Carter’s stories.’ How far do you agree?
‘Masculinity can be deadly and dangerous to women.’ Consider Angela Carter’s presentation of relationships between men and women in at least two of her stories.
‘Carter shows a positive and empowering image of female capability in her stories.’ To what extent do you agree with this statement?
Carter’s stories are about ‘undoing the repression of gender’. How far do you agree?
‘At the base of all Carter’s fiction lies a desire to compel the reader to face up to their responsibilities in a harsh material world.’ To what extent would you agree with this verdict?
Carter creates her stories to ‘shatter the fictions that regulate our everyday existence.’ To what extent do you agree with this view?
‘Carter’s stories merely perpetuate representations of helpless women rather than challenging them.’ In the light of this comment, consider Carter’s presentation of women in at least two of the stories.
It has been said that Carter’s stories are just ‘grossly repellent’. Are they any more than this?
Discus the view that Carter challenges social myths and narratives: the gentle nature of the ‘fair sex’, the purity of virginity and the alleged attractions of the alpha male.’
To what extent do you agree with the view that Carter’s stories ‘invite us to question what we might have been led to believe, once upon a time, about how to behave in the adult world’?
What use does Carter make of elements of the gothic in her stories?
Many critics have commented that Carter’s female characters ultimately reinforce stereotypes of women. Explore Carter’s presentation of women in light of this comment.
‘Carter explores how young female characters can be active, embrace their sexual desires and not expect men to be the sole answer to their lives.’ Explore Carter’s presentation of women in light of this comment.
The Lady of the House of Love asks ‘can a bird sing only the song it knows or can it learn a new song?’ To what extent do you agree with the view that Carter’s stories encourage us to challenge past expectations and behave differently.
Exam Questions for the set texts in Elements of the Gothic for the AQA Lit B English Literature Exam Section A.