"But you can't get me out of the story". Feminist Revision of Fairy Tales in Short Stories by Margaret Atwood and Angela Carter
AuthorMikalsen, Paula Ryggvik
Margaret Atwood and Angela Carter are but two of many authors who have appropriated the fairy tale genre and used its plethora of tales as intertext and playground for their artistic vision. This thesis will look selected stories from The Bloody Chamber (1979), Bluebeard’s Egg (1983) and Good Bones (1992). These collections engage with the fairy-tale canon, in both form, content and intertext, and underlines the efficacy of using fairy tales to offer critique of patriarchal mechanisms and harmful practices. This thesis will examine seven short stories from these collections by using postructuralist and feminist theory to analyse the process. The focus will be on whether it is possible to revision fairy tales using the traditional elements and topoi of the genre and still create narratives that can satisfy feminist values, without simply reversing the gender roles, i.e. the recipe for a “fractured fairy tale. Moreover, the thesis will give an account of the fairy-tale genre, the folktale, the fantasy genre and the Gothic fairy tale, to adumbrate the traits and elements that Carter and Atwood employ. The main theoretical framework will consist of using theories by postructuralist feminist theorists like Hélène Cixous, Julia Kristeva and Luce Irigaray, and postructuralist Jacques Derrida. By giving an account of their theories on deconstruction of language, l’ectriture feminine, jouissance, and meaning-making, this thesis will the framework to examine whether Carter and Atwood manages to rewrite fairy tales implemented with feminist values, without adopting the style of male writers. Furthermore, reception theory will be used to explain the popularity and tenacity of the fairy-tale genre, exemplified by contemporary Disney movies and the genre of fan fiction. Finally, reception theory will demonstrate the obstacles the fairy tale genre’s popularity presents for feminist revision.
PublisherUiT Norges arktiske universitet
UiT The Arctic University of Norway
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