11 terms



Terms in this set (...)

The snow child
shortest tale in the collection, yet its power to shock and disturb is not diminished by its relative brevity. As a version of 'snow white', Carter gives us an enigmatic tale that may be interpreted as an exploration of sexual jealousy and competition between women for the attention of men; or as an allegory of the familial tension between parents and children, more particularly the triangle of relationships between mother and daughter, father and daughter and mother and father.
Midwinter - invincible, immaculate.
familiar cold setting - as of this point everything is stainless and clear of any errors.
she wrapped in the glittering pelts of black foxes; and she wore high, black, shining boots with scarlet heels, and spurs.
Wrapped in dead animal to show how she herself is a predator- anthropomorphic imagery of sly cunning sexuality -, is in need of rich protection - all her clothes are symbolic of her being a femme fatale, yet clearly off her count's money. she is also his sexual object
Fresh snow fell on snow already fallen
countess is the snow already fallen yet the fresh snow may be the snow child, who is like a new breeze to the count who is bored with he hath
I wish i had a girl as white as snow' says the Count. they ride on. 'I wish i had a girl as red as blood' so they ride on again; here is a raven, perched on a bare bough. 'I wish i had a girl as black as that bird's feather'.

As soon as he completed her description, there she stood, beside the road, white skin, red mouth, black hair and stark naked; she was the child of his desire and the countess hated her.
The symbolic significance of his desires is communicated in the similies of his three wishes; snow, blood and a raven. His desire is a mixture of coldness, bloodthirstiness and fatality -> the raven, as in edgar poe's writings, is a symbol of death.
Carter wrote in 1974 "i'd always been fond of...gothic tales, cruel tales, tales of wonder, tales of terror, fabulous narratives"... etc etc
Carter suggests that the count, yet another aristocrat is a cold blooded killer in his desire for a girl 'as red as blood'.
He has fathered the girl of his dreams -> this may be a comment on how patriarchy shapes women in the image of men's desires and, as can be seen, not much good comes of this.
The countess hates her through her jealousy and threat
the count lifted her up and sat her in front of him on his saddle but the Countess had only one thought: how shall i be rid of her?
still envious and wants her out the picture, whilst the count is preoccupied with it
the countess dropped her glove in the snow and told the girl to get down to look for it; she meant to gallop off and leave her there but the count said: "ill buy you new gloves".
At that, the furs sprang off the countess's shoulders and twined round the naked girl.
Then the countess threw her diamond brooch through the ice of a frozen pond: 'Dive in and fetch it for me', she said; she thought the girl would drown. But the count said, 'is she a fish to swim in such cold weather?' Then her boots leapt off the countess's feet and on to the girls legs.
The countess's envious attempts to abandon the girl are thwarted by the count. The symbols employed here of clothing and jewellery, stand for the transference of affection from older to younger woman that is commonplace in society.
Now the countess was bare as a bone and the girl furred and booted; the count felt sorry for his wife.
They came to a bush of roses, all in flower. 'Pick me one' said the countess to the girl. 'I can't deny you that,' said the count.
The countess is left only with the count's pity.
This 3rd symbolic device employed against the girl is more devious; it is a typical deception as practiced by the step mother and evil old crone in 'snow white', a seemingly harmless gesture or act of kindness concealing murderous intent.
The picking of the rose, a symbol combining the perfection of natural beauty and the thorn as a metaphor for the inevitable pains of loving, is allowed by the count.
So the girl picks a rose; pricks her finger on the thorn; bleeds; screams; falls.
Weeping, the count got off his horse, unfastened his breeches and thrust his virile member into the dead girl.
Neither her nor the countess' natural beauty or intent is real, which is why she dies. or maybe because she was just a quick fantasy that the wife cannot have by.
The count fails to protect his child from the jealousy of his wife, and the girl dies bleeding and screaming.
The scene of graphic necrophilia that follows is perhaps the most extreme image of the whole collection.
The countess reined in her stamping mare and watched him narrowly; he was soon finished.
forced to watch; gothic entrapment.
He was soon finished double entrendre - bit of a joke and plus portrays how these male fantasies don't last long either.
by being reduced to the role spectator, carter seems to suggest here that women know men would rather indulge themselves in dead fantasies than accept women as they really are, a depressing morbid view on relationships.
the girl began to melt. soon there was nothing left of her but a feather a bird might have dropped; a bloodstain, like the trace of a fox's kill on the snow; and the rose she had pulled off the bush. Now the countess had all her clothes on again. With her long hand, she stroked her furs. The count picked up the rose, bowed and handed it to his wife; when she touched it, she dropped it. "It bites!" she said.
Perhaps the melting of the girl signifies how this is a regular thing; it will be created then eventually break down to nothing again but the evidence of death. The countess regains her clothes and therefore states, but perhaps the rose the count offers her bites because she knows he does not truly love her and this will forever be painful.