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The Company of Wolves - Essay Example

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For anyone who has read Angela Carter’s The Company of Wolves, or any of the stories in her Bloody Chamber collections for that matter, Neil Jackson’s screen interpretation of her radical feminist interrogation of Charles Perrault’s Little Red Riding Hood is likely to…
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The Company of Wolves
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The Company of Wolves

Download file to see previous pages... While her mother mourns, she goes to spend some time with her grandmother (Angela Lansbury), who tells her stories and warns about wolves and men, intuitively and effortlessly drawing parallels between both species;
After she returns to her parents, and while taking a walk in the woods with a friend, they find that a wolf has entered town to lay siege on their cattle. They run into town to alert the men, who hunt down the wolf and kill it. However, the carcass transforms into a human corpse.
The rest of the story is reminiscent and full of the symbolisms from Perrault’s Little Red Riding Hood. It also includes the usual suspects – huntsman, wolf, granny etc. But that is where the likeness ends – it does not end or even proceed as would be expected.
Based on Carter’s short stories, which, according to Merja Makinen, are (in)famous for the “excessiveness of their violence and, latterly, the almost violent exuberance of their excess,” The Company of Wolves delivers on its promise of violence and morbid dispositions. It is also very vicious in its attack on and reversal of the damsel-in-distress tradition present not only in Perrault’s Little Red Riding Hood, but in fairy tales, generally. For example, in one scene, where Rosaleen is cornered by a wolf, she has the courage to grab a rifle and shoot at it (as opposed to the helpless/hapless young girl crying for help). It is also ‘laden’ with sexual innuendo and symbolic portraits of female sexual liberation, which can be deduced in the scenewhere she gives up her bright red shawl (which is said to symbolise her virginity) of her own volition, not out of coercion.
The wholesomeness of the plot, however, is brought to question by the director’s barely comfortable employment of the “Chinese Box” structure in the film. Throughout all four stories narrated in the movie, I was conscious of the separateness of the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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