Angela Carter's The Bloody Chamber: Rethinking the Gothic

Lesson rationale

These activities offer students a unique opportunity to examine how a writer crafts a narrative. By exploring many of Angela Carter’s early drafts, students will uncover how she created her ground-breaking short story collection, The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories (1979). This will enable students to focus on close reading of the details of Carter’s linguistic techniques and stimulate the students’ own creative writing. They will also consider the conventions of the Gothic and fairy tale genres and Carter’s treatment of them, to encourage debate and wider reading.

Key questions in this lesson:

  • Does the reading of earlier drafts alter our understanding of a work of fiction?
  • What language techniques does Carter use to create the tales in The Bloody Chamber?
  • How did Gothic and fairy tale genres influence Carter in her writing of the tales?