In Angela Carter’s work, The Bloody Chamber, many tools are used to illustrate a dynamic young girl with an eager mind full of curiosity. The combinations of the tone and symbolism the reader can find reveal a great theme of this fairytale like short story of love, death and the path to independence. The use of figurative language and extremely descriptive imagery helps the reader to understand the sympathy and admiration of the main character is narrating in this piece. All of the tools combined set a great plot and imaginative mood for the audience. From the very beginning of this story, the narrator gives the audience the knowledge of how much she has changed. She is reminiscing on the early days right before her marriage as a poor young “child” living with her widowed mom. She transitions into a bride of an older rich man, and she feels a bit of guilt for her mother by ceasing “to be her child in becoming his wife (111).” Sympathy can be found between this mother daughter relationship. The mother is wary for her daughter because like any mother, she would not want her daughter going into a marriage with a man whom she does not love. When the love is questioned, the young girl dances around the question by saying she is sure that she wants to marry him. That’s all; she never says anything to reassure her mom of any love for this wealthy man. The only time she feels that she might be sure of loving him is when they go to the opera and she is so full of joy from the art that she mistakenly uses that as a sign. The specific details of her life let the reader know so much that it only fits to understand the characters exactly how Carter wants the reader to perceive them. The details about how the mother came to be widowed, how Marquis came to court the young girl, and her own thoughts about everything in her life changing. It appears to be that the young girl is so overcome with excitement and joy to be chased after, especially by a man of his own wealth that she hastily engages to him without really getting to “know him”. Because of many details we are given, we automatically can see that the timing of these occurrences is of an early date when this was socially acceptable to marry for the social and financial ladder. Another hint of the time set being an older one is the fact that transportation is used by trains, carriage, the old telephones and talk of the opera.
One of the biggest symbols we see that foreshadow disaster is how the young girl keeps comparing her fiancé, Marquis, to white lilies. The funeral lilies are beautiful yet tense and emotionless as he is. She describes him to hold himself and compose his emotions so much that the little curve in his mouth indicating a smile or a long sigh of relief makes her believe that he truly wants her so badly. Yet these also show her hesitation and mistrust for him. He also has filled the bedroom with so many lilies that it would seem to foreshadow her own funeral to come after their consummation of their marriage. The gift that he gives her, the red ruby choker, is another big symbol that is noticed. The red rubies around her neck are so deeply colored it could probably resemble blood, give the idea of strangulation or a slit throat. The fact that he loves for her to wear it and he “kissed them before he kissed her mouth (121)” shows his fetish he has of this strange resemblance and how much he loves his wealth. Another disastrous event that turns the whole story is when he decides to give her keys to everything in the house, even his “private den” which he tells her she must not go into. He goes on and on about how if she really loves him she’ll leave the room alone, with this he is using a psychological tactic to make her do the exact opposite of what he says. “Oh and you’d find it such a dull little room! (124)” he says, this is something to say that would entice her to go into the room while he is away. This would spark the curiosity that