The writings of Angela Carter are those like none other, in the way of style, themes, symbols and motifs. The stories written by Carter are not those of cheerfulness and happy endings, they are different in a most spectacular way. Carter's fairy tales are a frightening look at the true reality or what fairy tales really are. Angela Carter has written many of these tales in a much more deep and complex manner.
Each tale of hers has its own style, themes symbols and motifs yet she does show some similarities in each of her works. From Angela Carter, "The Tiger's Bride," in The Bloody Chamber and Other Stories (New York: Penguin, 1993) came a tale like no other. "The Tiger's Bride" was a version of "Beauty and the Beast" that has very few similarities. "The Tiger's Bride" is the story of a young girl named Belle who's father lost her to a beast in a hand of cards.
The beast was very well disguised, not one hair or limb on his body was visible to the human eye yet people knew that there was not a human under all of those clothes and the strong odor of his cologne. Belles father is lost in his habit or gambling and has lost sight of his priorities and lost the only thing he had left in the world. He didn't know what was to become of his daughter who could become a slave in many ways. And as he left her, she left him and she also had nothing to live for. As in many of Carter's stories nakedness is a continuous symbol of many different things. The beast in "The Tigers Bride" asks to see Belle naked, for what reason? That is for the reader to decide.
These certain motifs are the things that make Angela Carter's stories what they are. Belle is offered the choice to either to strip of her clothing for the beast to do what he pleases with her and be set free afterward, or not to and stay there in his broken down castle until the end of her days. This is a very difficult choice for Belle for she is the purest of women, and has much difficulty in doing this. She is also afraid for her life, believing the beast will eat her if she does decide to show herself to him. If she should decide not to reveal herself, the beast would then reveal himself to her, in which she was also terrified of what she might see. After she tries to put herself through the unthinkable and failing, the beast and his valet take belle on a ride through the forest where they stop and talk a while.
In this setting of the story, the beast reveals himself to Belle and shows his real self and earns the respect of Belle. After she realized the courage and trust the beast had shown to her, she decides that it is only right to do the same for him. When she appears in front of the beast unclothed, the Tiger crept up and licked the skin off of the young girl and revealed her long fur, as she also was a beast. Angela Carter has many ways in which she captures her own style and creativity in her works.
As in "The Tigers Bride,"The Company of Wolves" also has many of the same symbols, motifs, themes and style. Although "The Company of Wolves" may have been much more complex in the style and storyline than in "The Tiger's Bride," they had many similarities. In "The Company of Wolves" a young girl was also lost to a beast, a wolf. There are also many odd yet meaningful symbols and foreshadowing in the story. Like nakedness symbolized trust, purity, and youthfulness in "The Tiger's Bride," small naked baby dolls symbolize the same in "The Company of Wolves." As does the tale of wolf being shot, and becoming a young naked girl who meant no harm yet her appearance as a wolf made her hated by all.
In most of Carter's stories there is almost always a physical change in someone, whether it be and evil or good character. The Beast in "The Tiger's Bride" although seemed to be evil in the beginning, turned out just the opposite, and Belle turned in to a Tiger at the end of the story. In "The Company of Wolves," men whose eyebrows met were said to be untrustworthy and evil. They all turned into wolves and were a threat to the human kind. As said, this is a sign that Carter is getting across that looks mean nothing and everything. There was also foreshadowing of the wolves in "The Company of Wolves" at the beginning when the German Shepard was running through the woods.
Carter uses her superb style and mind to create these fairy tales that make the reader think and create images in their heads to make it much more than reading. She also includes all of these symbols and writing techniques that make Angela Carter's stories stand out above all others.