Non-identity and parodoxicality in Angela Carter's The Bloody Chamber
Sociology & anthropology
Kultursoziologie, Kunstsoziologie, Literatursoziologie
Cultural Sociology, Sociology of Art, Sociology of Literature
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AbstractAngela Carter (1940-92) in her famous short story, The Bloody Chamber, depicts a protagonist whose identity seems to be a predetermined sign in a signifying loop from which she can make no escape. In the first part of our paper, we attempt to show how The protagonist's ensuing psychological tension is aggravated by the conflict which she feels between her ideal ego (as an innocent girl) and her ego-ideal (a rare talent for corruption) and which leads her to unrelenting introspection and interior dialogue with her existential states. Such interior dialogue provides the protagonist with an existential ground on which she empties all her life events of their presence by signifying (or verbalizing) them through Derridean Differance. Therefore, her interior dialogue results in non-identity in her subjectivization both in the realm of signs and of (social) events. Then, we focus on the protaganist's paradoxical urges spontaneously outflowed from within which, by resisting symbolization, provide her with the possibility of becoming what she thinks she has never been and allow for her moments of self-determination. Finally, we illustrate how such psychological odyssey takes shape in the Gothic setting which arouses, in Lacanian terminology, pre-symbolic tendencies and which involves the coincidence of Gothic horror with the horrors of social reality.