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How Far Can We See Women In ‘The Bloody Chamber’ Victims Of Circumstances Or The Martyr?


The women in The Bloody Chamber can be viewed as victims and martyrs. However, it depends most on what short story that is being related to. In The Courtship Of Mr Lyon, the women is transformed from that of a victim to a potential martyr. She, ‘Beauty’, is described as, ‘(P48) Miss Lamb, spotless, sacrificial’. Here, Beauty is viewed as a sacrifice to the Beast such as an offering which has come from Beauty’s father for taking the rose. Therefore, at the start, Beauty is viewed straight away as a victim: through no fault of her own, she has become a tool of negotiation for her father with a dangerous creature (being the Beast). However, as we progress through the short story, the gender roles reverse with Beauty becoming more powerful and the Beast becoming more timid and weaker. At the end of the short story, Beauty is named as ‘Mrs Lyon’ alongside Mr Lyon who has transformed to a human from Beast. Beauty has not a martyr because she has not suffered, died or sacrificed herself for a further belief. As well as this, she has not been victimised at the end. Instead, she has been empowered with more animalistic and masculine features concluding that at the end of The Courtship Of Mr Lyon, Beauty cannot be seen as a victim or a martyr.

About Will Green

A student in England studying Automotive Engineering with Motorsport, Will created Ask Will Online back in 2010 to help students revise and bloggers make money. You can follow AskWillOnline via @AskWillOnline.

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