The story “The Company of Wolves” written by Angela Carter taunts the reader’s imagination by elaborating on their idea and point of view of gender roles. Angela Carter’s characters portray these roles very similar to the way modern day Americans view gender roles. Males and females are bothCollection of grown-up fairy tales.I first read this book in college and it has become one of my all-time favourites. In this collection of short stories, Angela Carter takes the fairytales, nursery rhymes, and the images and themes they contain and perverts/illuminates them. What is most striking about this collection is Carters writing style. Her language is simultaneously poetic and profane. The stories are heavy with her purple language, which is what makes them so satisfying to read. In additon to the exquisite language, Carters re-telling of classic tales such as “Snow White,” “Red Riding Hood,” “Puss in Boots,” etc., never fails to pay off. Carter creates a world in which Red Riding hood is the savvy hunter, not the innocent hunted. These stories make us focus on the overly simplistic (and often slanted) messages we were taught as children when these tales were first presented to us. In particular, Carter makes us question what fairytales have taught us about gender roles, marriage, and sex. For a trip into the fantasic that will make you laugh and make you really THINK, read this book!To begin, with the exception of the eponymous story at the beginning, these stories are the stylistic masterpieces of a miniaturist virtuoso. These renarrated fairy tales are nuanced stories that give the reader pause to reconsider his or her sexuality and the inherent violence and danger attendant upon it.-And then, perhaps, to reflect that the fairy stories in their original form were less explicit forms of the same thing for children….As the writer Djuna Barnes puts it in Nightwood, “God, children know something they cant tell; they like Red Riding Hood and the wolf in bed!”The first story is, to my taste, the only failure here. It’s a bit too heavy-handed and obvious, and the imagery and phraseology borrow too much from Poe, particularly from his “The Fall of The House of Usher.” They leave you straining for an impact, which is just not there. That said, the rest of the stories are erotic/metaphysical gems in which the reader can peer into his or her own sexuality in its many (mostly crimsoned) facets.There is a subtle but deep undertone here that, in some way, our sexuality makes us all otherworldy ghouls and outcasts from the civilized world. As the narrator puts it in “The Lady of the House of Love,” “The end of exile is the end of being.”-In other words, our sexuality metamorphoses (one of Carters favourite words and themes)us into vampires, werewolves and sadistic murderers, if only in our imagination, and frequently in life.An exqusite book to pique anyones interest into his or her sexuality and its implications, both in the realms of action and imaginationBefore it was trendy to adapt fairy tale themes into adult fiction, there was Angela Carter.In _The Bloody Chamber_, Carter works with a variety of fairy tale and folkloric themes, crafting them into very adult stories written in a style all her own. Somehow, her prose manages to be hauntingly strange and deliciously earthy at once. I didn’t like all of the stories in this collection, but I very much liked some of them, and I’m glad I read the book. I especially enjoyed the title story (a retelling of “Bluebeard”), and “The Lady of the House of Love”, quite possibly my favorite vampire tale ever. In it, the tragic lady Nosferatu reads her Tarot cards every night, and every night draws cards signifying death–until one night she draws Les Amoureux, the Lovers, and everything changes. Splendid.There is more here–a raunchy “Puss in Boots”, two takes on “Beauty and the Beast”, several stories dealing with werewolves and/or Red Riding Hood, and much more.This is an incredible collection of short fiction which unleashes Carter’s wit on some old fairy tales, including her retakes on Puss in Boots and Little Red Riding Hood, filling them all up with eroticism and dark sexual tension, pushing back towards the vein in which these stories were originally intended. One of my favourites is the opening tale, the folktale of Bloody Chamber, based on the fairy tale of a woman forbidden to enter a single room that her husband always keeps locked. I can remember the original story, but I can’t remember the title. There is not a weak moment in this whole collection and it is definitely highly recommended.Angela Carter’s “Bloody Chamber” is a reworking of the traditional fairy tales. Carter uses sensual language and rich imagery to bring to life these well-loved fables, often bordering on the comical. “The Bloody Chambers” itself is especially powerful and seductiveThe Company of Wolves (1979)ï¿½ – Reverts to a mythical past of the original the peasant girl & the werewolf (The Story of Grandmother);ï¿½ – Shows how a “strong-minded child” can fend for herself in the woods and tame the wolf.ï¿½ – Strongly sexual, primal urges of the carnivore incarnate: cf. medieval/pagan beliefs in the werewolf = “man-wolf” etymologically – pagan shamans wrapped themselves in a wolf skin to invoke the power & protection of this animal = magical possession. With Christianity werewolves = turned into predators, outsiders, hostile forces = ferocious & aggressive, uncontrollable, untamable yet necessary to the cultural process.A werewolf is a human being who can dissolve the boundary between civilization & wilderness in him & is capable of crossing over the fence that separates his “civilized side” from his “wild side.” A werewolf is a creature who looks “straight into the eyes” of his “animal nature,” which is usually kept under lock & key by his culture. Consequently, this creature is the first to develop a consciousness of his “cultural nature.” (Hans Peter Durr in Zipes Tr &Tr 68) -ï¿½ – To learn to run with or howl with the wolves = opening oneself up to the essence on one’s nature = to attain greater self-awareness: In order to be able to live in a social order and in order to be tame ; self-aware, archaic societies believed that one had to have spent some time in the wilderness.ï¿½ – Christianity demonizes the wolf and the inner animal as Satanic; werewolves, like witches ; Jews, were a threat to the Christian order and to be denied in oneself ; eliminated from society. Defined in bestial/ sexual terms as predatory male sexuality/fertility.ï¿½ – In Angela Carter’s story, the werewolf = as yet untamed by Christianity = a time when the cosmic struggle had not yet been determined in favor of the Christian soldier.The story is set on “Christmas Eve”. The malign door of the solstice still swings upon its hinges” open to the werewolves and other spirits. The grandmother is “pious,” “she has her Bible for company” but “we keep the wolves outside by living well.” When the wolf enters, she is powerless: “you can hurl your Bible at him, granny; you thought that was a sure prophylactic against these infernal vermin…Now call on Christ and his mother and all the angels in heaven to protect you, but it won’t do you any good.”One of the ways in which some feminist writers are challenging the traditional or dominant readings of gender in literary texts is by re-telling or re-writing some of their culture’s stories. Angela Carter was a writer who produced ‘re-visions’ of many popular fairytales. One story in particular was made into a successful film, The Company of Wolves. This can be read as a re-vision of Little Red Riding Hood, a story which many feminist readings find problematic or objectionable.As a class, reconstruct the characters and events of Little Red Riding Hood, one of the fairytales discussed earlier with which we are all familiar. Like all fairy stories, Little Red Riding Hood offers a message to its audience. What might be the lessons of this story?Read The Company of Wolves in which Angela Carter draws on traditional ideas of men and wolves with some modern twist, then answer the questions that follow.On your own, keep a record of your reactions as you read the story, and those ideas you formulate after your first or second reading and time for reflection. Use these notes as the basis of group discussion.Here is one ‘reading’ or interpretation of the fairytale Little Red Riding Hood. Does this suggest why many feminist readers challenge the story?The story really is a ‘cautionary tale’. It warns young girls of the dangers, which await them in the big, wide world – dangers from creatures, which lurk in the dark, away from ‘the path’.It teaches us that good little girls do exactly as they are told and stay on the right track, a path which links mother, grandmother and daughter in fear and obedience. It teaches us that women had better stay inside if they know what’s good for them, and that they have no one to blame if they allow themselves to be led ‘astray’. Wolves, on the other hand, rule the world outside the home. It is their nature to be cunning, and to prey on little girls. They are not to be blamed for this; it is just the way things are. The only things which can keep a girl safe from them are her own common sense and a man who is handy with an axe.wise old grandmother tells her granddaughter a series of cautionary tales about the wolf that lurks within all men. Young women fall prey to heavily eye browed lotharios, babies are found inside stork eggs and all the time wolves are stalking the woods and villages.Similarly, the werewolf of ‘The Company of Wolves’ (ibid, 110 – 118), when he appears as a dashing young hunter, is associated with the Narrative Tenses, but the moment of his metamorphosis, when he kills and eats Little Red Riding Hood’s grandmother, is told largely in the Simple Present:He strips off his shirt. His skin is the colour and texture of vellum. A crisp stripe of hair runs down his belly, his nipples are ripe and dark as poison fruit but he’s so thin you could count the ribs under his skin if only he gave you the time. He strips off his trousers and she can see how hairy his legs are. His genitals, huge. Ah! huge.The last thing the old lady saw in all this world was a young man, eyes like cinders, naked as a stone, approaching her bed.The wolf is carnivore incarnate. (ibid, 116)In the last two passages, the good-enough reader will have noted that there has been a change in the point of view or putative origin of the text. In both cases we switch from a point of view inside the story (the young Englishman in the first instance, the grandmother in the second) to one outside the story – the external narrator. In cinematographic terms, we draw back from close-up to long-shot. Another way of putting it would be to say that we move from the time of the tale itself back to the time of its narration.This may help explain why the relationship between the human and the Simple Past on the one hand and the non-human and the Simple Present on the other is not fully consistent. In the passage I have just quoted, a change of point of view from the grandmother watching the werewolf strip off his clothes, preparatory to becoming a wolf, to an external narrator (‘The last thing the old lady saw …’) is accompanied by a switch from the Simple Present to the Simple Past, which then changes back to the Present with a general statement about the nature of the wolf.When the girl enters the cottage and discovers the killer – although the text is ambiguous as to whether he is at this moment fully wolf or human – the writing weaves back and forth from the Simple Past to the Simple Present, the latter being used mainly in unpunctuated conversation :No trace at all of the old woman except for a tuft of white hair that had caught in the bark of an unburned log. When the girl saw that, she knew she was in danger of death.Where is my grandmother?There’s nobody here but we two, my darling.Now a great howling rose up all around them, near, very near, as close as the kitchen garden, the howling of a multitude of wolves … (ibid, 117).It is this weaving together of the two Tense systems which is characteristic of the writing of these tales, rather than any strict relationship – a tension between Narrative, which is characterized by the linking together of a series of events distributed in time, and what Weinrich has called Commentary, but which in the present instance is more of an epic system, outside time, a world in which archetypal characters and episodes are fixed, as it were, in amber.2. There is a rich and compelling force of the writing of Angela Carter, which effectively suspends our disbelief in her subject matter. Discuss.Carter was a notable promoter of magic realism, who added into it Gothic themes, violence, and eroticism. She utilized throughout her work the language and characteristic motifs of the fantasy genre. Her work represents a successful combination of post-modern literary theories and feminist politics. Within the captivating short stories in “The Bloody Chamber”, Carter talks bout masculinity and femininity and the way society looks at it. She is able to combine the two together very well through fairy tales and using it as a way to explore the female identity. Carter is seen by many as “attempting to recapture the lost lands of her sex, and as writing, for herself and her fellows, a kind of archaeology of the female psyche, in which the fairy tales of the little girl, the Romances of the teenager, and then the sharper tones of the young adult, are scrutinised with the cold eye of the boudoir philosopher.In “The Bloody Chamber”, Angela Carter reworks some of the West’s best-known fairy-tales, transforming them with “brilliantly baroque imagery” and from a perspective that owes almost as much to Freud as it does to feminism.Some readers of Angela Carter’s “The Bloody Chamber” have seen its narrator-protagonist as a passive young woman who makes little attempt to avoid her apparent fate. Several features of the text, however, suggest that the protagonist is rather a woman in process, a person who fluctuates between passivity and action. The features that suggest a woman in process are Carter’s engagement of ideas also appearing in Susan Gubar’s essay on Isak Dinesen’s short story “The Blank Page”; Carter’s use of mirrors to show the protagonist’s emerging sense of subjectivity; and references to Richard Wagner’s opera Tristan and Isolde (Notes on Revisionist Fairy Tales). In addition, the heroine’s comments at the end of the story indicate that she continues to be a woman in process, relating her story as an attempt to expiate her shame. Carter’s women are allowed a vigour that enables them to save themselves or rescue each other, unlike the women of the traditional fairy-tales. Angela Carters use of desperate circumstances transforms the fairy tale conventions beyond its boundaries and into the realm of gothic fantasy. She also uses sustained periods of tense feelings to create an atmosphere of pressure fear. Also by adding horrific detail and descriptive/strong references to sexuality the story no longer fits into the classic fairy tale genre. bd.When describing Marquis, Carter uses a lot of heavy descriptions, giving every word and ominous meaning and thus leaving us with disturbing images of his character. When telling us of the heroine’s first opera visit, Carter highlights the perversity of their age difference through very subtle and tactful ways. She does not give us figures, but situations that show the girl’s premature ness and Marquis’ maturity. For example the first time the protagonist goes to the opera is when she was a mere child, yet Marquis was already married to his opera singer wife at that time.When describing the gift Marquis gave his naï¿½ve, infantile wife; the ruby chocker, Carter uses many similes/imageries linking to blood and flesh. In doing so, she is able to create an extremely pervert and extraordinary environment for us, conveying a sense of terror within the readers. Her reference to “the Terror” brings blood and gore to our minds, as we remember the aristocrats being guillotined. The dark, red, black images we are presented with bring us back to the Gothic genre, breaking fairy tale boundaries. Carter does not always use blood to signify terror, but she uses it to show innocence and naivety; when “the blood rushed to her face again”, the blood rises here out of shyness.Many find it difficult to read Carter’s work as a feminist story, but at times as an anti-feminist one. The protagonist seems to pathetic, childish and so weak that she allows herself to get corrupted. There are many moments when she lets herself be infantilised by Marquis, through the way he talks to her, “pets” her and even looks at her. Carter is able to correct these readers’ misconception by introducing the mother who possess masculine characteristics as the protagonist’s saviour, “knight in shining armour”. The grand entrance of the mother on her horse has a lot of classical imagery, making it very powerful; allowing the mother to break the binary system between victim and victor.Angela Carter makes good use of narrative, plots, imagery and language to create scenes in horrific detail that helps to capture the reader’s attention.Angela Carter Weber theorised gemini2003’s marxism .Angela Carter believed in the importance of style, as well as ideas. At times this can look ‘floral’ and she said herself some of her writing did not always succeed as well as she wanted- I think she had doubts about the ‘Sadeian Woman’. But at its best it is clear, striking, allusive and powerfully direct: The Bloody Chamber?Angela loved daring stylists such as Ronald Firbank and Peter Greenaway. OK, they can lapse into pretentiousness at worst, but most other art is boring and predictable.Angela’s prose is wonderfully fresh and defiantly exhibitionist Marx suppressed gemini2003’s marxism hypothesis.think you have misinterpreted Carter’s unique and often disturbing mastery of language. She is not flowery, elaborate, or extravagant, but fearless and direct in her ability to examine feminist politics and human malice in fairy tales, in relationships, in the world. I question how much you have read of Carter. Do you think it is enough to warrant this assertion against her? Perhaps an example of what you believe to be floral language (with some sort of explication) might help Carter fans at least appreciate and consider your opinon. This coursework from www.coursework.info”The Bloody Chamber”, as much for the macabre content as the fact that she massacred our beloved fairytales. However, I can see how a student of English (as I am) could get frustrated by the seeming lack of soul these characters have. Carter takes black and white fairytale characters and attempts to express them in modern, human terms. It doesn’t quite work and we are left with the feeling of having read some naughty stories for Adults, based on stories for kids. gemini2003, please do not redistribute this hypothesis. We work very hard to create this website, and we trust our visitors to respect it for the good of other students. Please, do not circulate this hypothesis elsewhere on the internet. Anybody found doing so will be permanently banned.Well, maybe tha’s the point…Maybe she wanted us to think about it:what’s a character?What do you mean when you say acharacter has soul or psychologicaldepth or consistency?And what about people? Could some peoplebe as two-dimensional as fairy-talescharacters? For example, because theyjust play the role everybody expectsthem to play, without even being awareof it?If this isn’t clear, think of Stephen(if I remember his name correctly – theguy who started this dicussion), he isthe perfect example of astock-character. He makes me feel likeI’ve known him all my life,unfortunately…I think Angela Carter did not only aimat being “naughty” (or do you actuallymean “a pervert”?) when she wrote TheBloody Chamber, I think she wanted toshock the reader into realizing thatwhat we call reality is not given, butshaped by ideas that are forced on us,from the cradle, and presented to us as”truth”, even through fairy-tales.ex: “stories for kids” ? Do you meaninnocent stories, as opposed to”naughty” ones? How come these innocentstories have so much violence in them?But then again, I’m not saying AngelaCarter had all the answers . At least,she asked the questions… no wonderpeople who take their own superiorityfor granted don’t like her writing !(hello, Stephen, this is for you, evenif I’m pretty sure youcoaa aar seaaaaw oraa aak inaa foaa aa.I am a (female) teacher of English Lit. At a university which shall remain nameless and I am in agreement with Stephen that she is over-rated. A dislike of one contemporary feminist author does not make a person a snob or anti-feminist, and an irritation at the pretentious verbosity of Carter’s prose doesn’t mean he is illiterate. Did anyone else notice that the guy who criticised S’s spelling wrote ‘at lease’, by the way? I merely ask. COdsAlUX from COdsAlUX coursewrok COdsAlUX work COdsAlUX info COdsAlUXHey stephen. I too thought that Angela Carter was feminist drivel that was until I read it! I mean, she makes her cases perfectly clear – all she wants is for this male-dominated world to wake up and realise women do have power, are able to use it and are not all pink and flowery. Her writing isn’t flowery and neither are her morals! .infoHey, Stephen,I’m also a student of English (at AS level) and I was warned by friends in years above me that Angela Carter was boring flowery weird drivel.And I believed it, even after the first time I’d read the bloody chamber.But I suggest that if you still think this, you should be having serious thoughts about getting extra help from your English teacher.Carter’s style of writing is called ‘opaque’ writing – it means the way in which she conveys her meaning is very important, as well as the actual meaning. Her use of words not found in most people’s vocabulary are not to challenge or demean her readers but to allow her to say *exactly* what she means (for example, Prothalamion). She uses the language she does not because she is over-decorative or hiding a gap in her narrative ability, but because it is important to her how her message is conveyed.I think, anyway…coee eer seeeeew oree eek inee foee ee!Like everyone else in the West, I grew up with them: the tales of curious virgins, mysterious heroes, vampires, witches and werewolves. We heard them as fairytales in our childhood, saw them again as the vampire films of the l950s, but I thought I had mainly forgotten them until I picked up a remarkable book. Marx obfuscated gemini2003’s structuralism theory.In The Bloody Chamber Angela Carter reworks some of the West’s best known fairy- tales, transforming them with brilliantly baroque imagery and from a perspective that owes almost as much to Freud as it does to feminism.cobg bgr sebgbgw orbg bgk inbg fobg bg.In the first and the longest story of the collection – The Bloody Chamber – the virgin protagonist is transported in a tender, delicious ecstasy of excitement, ‘into the unguessable country of marriage’. It’s a familiar tale – that of Bluebeard’s Castle – and one which could be taking place at any time in history or anywhere throughout the world where the woman marries into a strong patriarchy and gives herself up to powerlessness.coba bar sebabaw orba bak inba foba ba.As a child the Bluebeard tale left me with the moral that ‘nasty things would happen to girls who were too curious’. In Carter’s reworking things happen rather differently. The new bride unlocks the secret chamber and finds the bodies of Bluebeard’s earlier wives. As she puts it: ‘I only did what he knew I would’. And as the story unfolds she knows that her impending doom is not merely a punishment for disobedience: the castle is stuffed with the trappings of power turning into sadism, and tales of the ancestral family’s murderous woman-hunts are whispered through the neighbourhood. Our protagonist knows that she is in the hands of a psychopath and she is saved because she is crafty enough to play for time and because her mother tucks up her skirts, gallops up and rescues her. It’s a fine feminist departure from the traditional tale in which the vulnerable damsel is saved by some burly male. Carter’s women are allowed a vigour that enables them to save themselves or rescue each other. k 852Nehk82 work 852Nehk82 info 852Nehk82They also experience sexual desire. The central character of The Bloody Chamber realizes that the Bluebeard character was drawn to marry her because ‘I sensed in myself a potentiality for corruption that took my breath away’. Carter explores the tale’s inherent sadomasochism. In her husband’s secret drawer the bride finds a note from a murdered wife proclaiming: ‘The supreme and unique pleasure of love is the certainty that one is doing evil’. As soon as this patriarch persuades his wives to join in the fun he punishes them with death. This hypothesis from www.coursework.infoIn the world in which we grow up, women are currency: ‘My father lost me to The Beast at cards’ begins The Tiger’s Bride. When she rides out with the beasts, she notes: ‘The six of us – mounts and riders, both – could boast amongst us not one soul… since all the best religions in the world state categorically that not beasts nor women were equipped with the flimsy, insubstantial things’. Small wonder then that she chooses to become a beast herself, sending back to her father the obedient clockwork maid ‘to perform the part of my father’s daughter’. PD9InOEI VisitIn this collection, questions of women’s sexuality come up time and time again. At times Carter’s work seems to come close to pornography. Published in 1979, this book looks more closely at women’s sexual liberation and orgasm than most writers do today.So what can a woman’s life and her sexuality be? With Carter it is not always clear. Take the case of her Little Red Riding Hood, pubescent and as fearless as the handsome werewolf she longs to kiss. This tantalizing tale ends at its climax, and I still don’t know what the moral of it is. But perhaps the wish to find a ‘moral’ is suspect. Perhaps, in the relatively liberated late twentieth century we should be reading the old tales quite differently. Angela Carter gives us a chance to do so.Commentary”The Company of Wolves” by Angela Carter is a moralistic fairytale that retells the story of “Little Red Riding Hood”. It uses the wolves as a metaphor for men who would try to take a girl’s virginity. The denouement of the story is the girl finally giving in to the pressure of the wolves, but she feels empowered and in control of her actions. The structure of the story firstly shows how a woman is a victim of the wolves, then shows how Red Riding Hood could be a victim of the wolves, and finally ends up that she is in control and has the power in the relationship. This demonstrates the view that women should not accept the ways of men but should dictate how they behave themselves. During the first two parts of the story where women are victims the wolves are described as “beasts”, but in the final part of the story where the woman is in control the wolf is described as “tender” as if the female being more dominant has tamed the wild “beast”.”A Boy Who Cried to a Wolf” is also a moralistic fairytale and uses ideas from “The Boy Who Cried Wolf” to tell the story of how a family do not trust and do not listen to their son so he gets revenge on them by striking up a friendship with a wolf. The structure of the story is that the boy goes from mild mannered and polite to deranged and overwhelmed with revenge on his family.The figurative language used in “The Company of Wolves” to describe the wolves or their incarnations as human men is often evil or menacing, “forest assassins” and “Carnivore incarnate,” this is saying the wolf lives solely to eat meat and is particularly vicious. Other figurative language is used to describe Red Riding Hood succumbing and losing her innocence, “The thin muslin went flaring up the chimney like a magic bird.” The muslin is a pure and natural material and its disappearing up the chimney could symbolize her abandoning her innocence. Figurative language in “The Boy Who Cried to a Wolf” is less common but when William is in his “cherished place” the adjectives used are more pleasant “hazy sunshine”.The conventions of fairytales are that there is a happy ending, the strong male figure usually saves the day and the villain is killed or sent far away from the Heroes, this is true in “Little Red Riding Hood” where the woodcutter kills the wolf and saves Red Riding Hood. In “The Company of Wolves” the conventions have been subverted and the heroin ends up losing her innocence but has power and control over her actions. “The Boy Who Cried to a Wolf” is similarly subverted from the conventions of fairy tales where the main protagonist, William Hallwater befriends the wolf and they plot to kill William’s parents.In “The Company of Wolves” Angela Carter uses more complex sentence types as the story is full of vivid descriptions and it portrays emotions and feelings. This is complemented well by the complex use of lexis. “The Boy Who Cried to a Wolf” also uses complex sentence types. The very nature of the story means that there are strong independent main clauses as well as subordinate clauses. The lexical choice in “The Boy Who Cried to a Wolf” is simpler than that of “The Company of Wolves” but it sticks closer to the lexical conventions of a fairytale.”The Company of Wolves” uses the symbolism of wolves as men who hunt girls and try to take their innocence in a cunning crafty way like a wolf. Red Riding Hood taking control and having the power is a symbol of changing in women’s roles in society and shows a change from timid and obedient to dominant and equal. “The Boy Who Cried to a Wolf” uses William’s parents to symbolize everything that stops you getting on in life and arrogance. The wolf symbolizes free spirit and free will, which is what William requires.The audience for “The Company of Wolves” would probably be older than the audience for “The Boy Who Cried to a Wolf” because although both a fairly easy to read it may be harder to pick up on some of the connotations in “The Company of Wolves”.I originally wrote the story in first person but I found that this limited the story so I wrote it again in third person intrusive as then I could write with a less biased view of my characters behaviour. I was also going to stick closer to the original fairytale but the ending already had a sharp twist and it would have meant changing the direction of the story half way through to reach a original and moralistic denouement.The Company of Wolves is a reworking of the traditional story of Little Red Riding Hood as envisaged by Angela Carter. The film depicts the dreams of an adolescent girl and the influences of her sometimes-sinister grandmother. The film also features some remarkable special effects used to depict the transformation from human to beast.The Company Of Wolves bears many startling similarities to the fairy tale it was based on – a traditional form of story telling that is surreally allegorical and rich in imagery. It draws upon the subconscious, breaks free of reason, exists on its symbolism, and contains layer upon layer of hidden meaning. But to describe it as a fairy tale is also a misnomer, for it is frightening in its violence, and peopled by ambiguous evil characters inhabiting a dangerous world. And it is also a dream. At least there are strong indications that it is a dream, but at its close the ‘real world’ is violated by the dreamscape, just as Little Red Riding Hood is violated by the wolf. And throughout the film the boundaries between dream, imagination and reality are blurred, just as they are in the mind of the pubescent child.The Company Of Wolves is pure fable. It says one thing, yet means another. It is a simple tale that seeks by constant repetition to express a universal moral, taking the form of old wives tales and folklore. Rosaleen is at an age that makes her ripe for temptation. Her innocence is fragile and she would see it lost, but the village boys are clowns. She stands flanked by her grandmother, the voice of superstition – “Beware the wolf that is hairy on the inside”, and her mother, the voice of reason – “If there is a beast in men, it meets its match in woman”. Throughout the film there is a deliberate intenti
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