This paper focuses on the human-animal divide by analyzing the transformation of the female protagonist into a nonhuman animal within Angela Carter’s short fiction “The Tiger’s Bride,” which portrays the restrictions created by a dominant, patriarchal society that separates the body, the mind, and the natural world. These then turn out to be boundaries which are deconstructed in a manner that places a new focal point on the environment and the changing consciousness of the female protagonist in Carter’s story. The analysis of Carter’s transformative female character draws upon several various theoretical lenses, including post-structuralism, postmodernism, and several branches of theories of feminism. Gilles Deleuze’s and Félix Guattari’s post-structural and postmodern views on becoming and multiplicity provide the ideas for understanding the role of metamorphosis in breaking the normative and often oppressive patterns held by most people. This female-animal transformative nature allows the forming of the versatile “self” which occurs through a multiplicity of relationships that cannot be neglected. This paper reflects how oppressive frameworks can be broken down through the engagement of transformative processes that lead to a self which is situated more in natural fluidity than in the stagnation of artifice. Carter’s story, “The Tiger’s Bride”, reflects an innovative creativity that seeks to evaluate, deconstruct, and reconstruct relationships based on interactions with the more-than-human realm. In the story, Carter gives the readers a clear understanding of the world of diversity and continuous activity, a world which is made up of constant alterations to the self through relationships.
Hsi-En Chang, University of Tamkang, Taiwan
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