Dissertations@Portsmouth - Details for item no. 13536

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Holding, (2019) Postmodern identities and the breakdown of boundaries in Angela Carter's Fireworks and The Bloody Chamber. (unpublished BA dissertation), University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth


This dissertation analyses stories from Fireworks and The Bloody Chamber by Angela Carter in terms of the ways they exceed boundaries of genre and the body. Chapter one utilises Gregson's work on Postmodern Literature to explore how generic boundaries are crossed, to create postmodern hybrid genres that expose the artificiality of fiction. In doing so, Carter exposes the myths of womanhood in the original genres and in society as a whole. Carter also confuses the distinction between subject and object, objectifying many female characters by representing them as literal puppets or passive victims, to show how the male gaze negatively impacts women and even encourages them to behave this way. It then looks at how bodily boundaries are crossed, including supernatural beings akin to Creed’s 'Monstrous Feminine'. Vampires are used as an example of the way that female sexuality is seen as deviant and monstrous. Kristeva's theory of abjection underpins this chapter too, in an analysis of blood and female adolescence, arguing that bodies in the primary texts become representations of internal and social change. Finally, chapter three examines how the previous themes influence identity, and the negative impacts that gender norms have on individuals, portrayed stylistically by shifts in voice and focalization, as well as the mirror symbol. After looking at these themes, this dissertation concludes that Carter self-consciously breaks down borders in order to demonstrate the constructed nature of cultural ideas of genre and selfhood. Revising mythology and subverting expectations alerts the reader to the fact that gender too is a construction.

Course: English Literature - BA (Hons) - C0995

Date Deposited: 2020-02-10

URI/permalink: https://library.port.ac.uk/dissert/dis13536.html