Helen Simpson on Angela Carter's Bloody Chamber | Books | The Guardian
Main · Videos; Katie holmes dating movie director zweerknopjes online dating · doroga pustotu online dating · dating and courtship reflection refraction. Soon after the first eyes, at least by Ma (Parker ; new date for the nanostructures that interact with (reflect, refract and diffract) light rays, such courtship display have improved in optical efficiency throughout the evolution of. During courtship, a male displays his reflecting parts in front of the female, . from which the refractive index ns and specimen thickness d can be obtained by .
Tola Olu Pearce has drawn attention to the importance of situating the present resistance to women's efforts to participate in the democratic process in Africa in the context of precolonial, colonial, and postcolonial times if it is to be fully understood. As she noted, "What is of theoretical import is the fact that elements of all three historical periods interact in the present" For example, Yoruba marriage forms have been influenced by Christian and Muslim marriage practices in all the three phases even as the steps to Yoruba marriage project a decidedly traditional outer form.
In marriages in contemporary Yoruba society, the modernized Yoruba cling tenaciously to this outer form as a proof of loyalty to the original culture.
Traditional Yoruba courtship and marriage must be understood in the context of the impact of the precolonial, colonial, and post-colonial periods. The family is the most sacred and significant institution to the Yoruba, who are child-centered, ruled by the elderly, and controlled by adults. The family is an effective unit of political control, religious affiliation, resource allocation, and assurance of safety.
It is also the most effective agent of socialization. The family teaches the first lessons in discipline, personal gratitude, and affection. The family is where young people are exposed to their first preferences and prejudices.
In the family, the lessons in honor and shame are learned, just as are the first lessons in dissembling to avoid the truth that may injure the well-being of the community.
More poignantly, it is in and through the copious lessons in religious symbolism learned in the family that one comes to understand the cyclical and connected way of life in the here and now, the future, and the hereafter. Many Yoruba proverbs reiterate the view that the dead gave birth to the living, and the living ought to give birth to and nurture the children who represent the future.
The Yoruba further cloak these sentiments in the garb of religious obligation by insisting on a notion of afterlife whose reward is the opportunity for those elders who died well or properly to come and visit their progeny on earth.
They attach their soul to the two other souls of the child to be born Bascom Eleda, the first soul, is every individual's share in divine essence. The ori is that which is unique, or that which distinguishes one from any other person. In and through the child that is born, the dead are reincarnated to temporarily be with and bless the living.
The sociological significance of this notion of birth and rebirth lies in its usefulness as a social welfare policy Zeitlin; Megawangi; Kramer; Colleta; Babatunde; and Garman It ensures that children are wanted, nurtured, and brought up to be fine examples of what the Yoruba call Omoluwabi—the well-bred child.
If a parent believes a son or daughter is a reincarnation of the parent's mother or father, the parent will not abandon the child. Seen in this context, marriage for the Yoruba man or woman is a necessity. As Nathaniel Fadipe noted: For a man or a woman who has reached the age of marriage to remain single is against the mores of the Yoruba.
Men get married even when they are sexually impotent in order to save either their faces or the faces of their immediate relatives, as well as to get one to look after their domestic establishment. There are a few cases of confirmed bachelors; men, who have reached middle age without getting married even though they are in position to do so.
But they are a product of modern times with its individualism, and are most invariably Christians. When it does, marriage is a union not only of the two spouses, but the two extended families to which they belong.
Marriage itself is the proof that both spouses are good products and ambassadors of their families. By successfully going through the demanding steps to the Yoruba marriage, the spouses are a good reflection on the quality of character of their families.
They have shown restraint as people who are well brought up, focused, enduring, reliable, disciplined, and people who are able to defer gratification until they are ready for the responsibilities of adulthood.
As the Yoruba say, "It is easy to get married; what is difficult is to provide daily food for the family" Ati gbeyawo, kekere; owo obe lo soro. In other words, the ability to satisfy the hierarchy of human needs was critical to the Yoruba evaluation of the spouses' readiness to be united in marriage.
They ought to be able to provide food and shelter and safety. They ought to have the level of commitment and patience needed to inculcate a sense of belonging and self-esteem in their children. The test of the level to which one has internalized a sense of belonging and self-esteem is manifest in the desire to excel and find self-fulfillment in the service of the family.
To ensure that the spouses have the requisite level of the skills that will enable their family to find its own balance, an elaborate system of calibrated steps and activities tests the endurance of the spouses. These steps reiterate the fact that the selection of the spouse is a communal affair that involves several symbolic steps Babatunde The time for seeking a potential spouse Igba ifojusode ; The approval of the oracle-divinity Ifa f'ore ; The release of the voice of the young woman Isihun ; The request for the young woman's hand in marriage Itoro ; The creation of the affinal bond Idana ; and The transfer of the wife to the husband's lineage Igbeyawo.
When the young adult male is between twenty three and twenty-eight years of age and the female is between eighteen and twenty-five, they are both expected to be identifying potential spouses. At this time, the male is expected to have acquired skills that will allow him to provide for his family. The Yoruba socialization ensures that the daughter learns, from the age of seven, to serve as a little mother and child-caregiver to her younger siblings.
By the time she is preparing for marriage, the Yoruba female would have learned some of the preliminary skills she will need to be a wife and mother from watching her mother and other women in her family. Because Yoruba society in male-oriented, it is structured in favor of men taking initiative in the steps that lead to marriage. Thus, it is the man who formalizes his desire to proceed to the next level of courtship by visiting the house of the spouse-to-be.
It is the man who pays his prospective to Isihun—payment to release the voice of the female so that the couple can talk with one another eesee Ishihun. It is the suitor's male relations who take the initiative to institutionalize the marriage by first going to ask for the hand of the spouse. The suitor's male relations plan for the ceremony that creates affinal bond between the two families. Finally, the spouse is transferred from one group of patrilineal kin to another.
Oja Ale In traditional Yoruba society, the forum for meeting the potential spouse is the evening marketplace, Oja ale. During this period of seeking a spouse, it is a cultural obligation for mothers of young female adults to find a reason for them to go to the market.
Often, among the highly entrepreneurial Yoruba, some commodity is found for the female to sell in the evening marketplace. The female continues to go to the evening market until a serious prospect is identified. The seriousness of the prospective spouse is determined, when after many meetings in the evening market, the young man offers to go and visit the young female in her parent's home. Among the Yoruba, avoidance is part of the etiquette regulating one's interaction with one's affinal relatives.
The determination to visit the house of one's potential spouse is a final proof of readiness to engage in a serious relationship. However, before the suitor takes this important step, he should inform his father about his intentions.
The father of the suitor then informs the eldest male member of the extended family, Idile, who is known as the elderly father Baba agba. The suitor's father communicates the message to the eldest member of the lineage in symbolic language, "Elderly father, your son has seen a beautiful flower that he thinks he wants to pluck" Omo yin ti ri ododo elewa ti o feja.
The elderly relative then replies, "Can our family members pluck a flower from that family tree? The father of the suitor answers that from inquiries already made, members of their extended family can pluck flowers from the said tree. Then the elderly father gives his blessing by appointing a wife of the family to serve as the go-between Alarena. The choice of a very respected wife as the go-between has complex sociological implications. As an affinal member of the lineage, she has the immunity of an outsider with a proven record of excellent service as a wife and a role model for new wives of members of the lineage.
The Yoruba, who are very secretive and status-conscious, would find it offensive for a family member of the husband to take on this sensitive job of finding background information about the family history of the prospective wife.
Because the go-between is an outsider acting on behalf of the male descendants of family, the culture accords her the immunity to carry out her assigned duty as a neutral party. Yet the main condition for her selection is her intense loyalty to the extended family into which she married. The office of the go-between is also a mechanism for the smooth integration of the wife-to-be into her family of marriage.
If things work out, the new wife is not completely alone in her new family. She has an ally in the go-between. The go-between tries to discover information that will assist the elders of the suitor's family in deciding whether the spouse would be a good companion for their son and a good resource in the extended family. If the go-between finds out that members of the spouse's family are lazy, that their womenfolk are stubborn and incorrigible in their marital homes, or if men in the extended family of the spouse are notorious debtors or have been known to have debilitating diseases, this information will be passed on to the elders, who will subsequently bring pressure to bear on their son to discontinue the relationship.
If inquiries reveal that the spouse's family members have a reputation for hard work, respect for elders, a great sense of nurture and motivation to induce their children to excel, every effort will be made to move the courtship to the next step in the process. The male elders direct the father of the suitor to find out from the oracle the future prospects of the union. The Yoruba are pragmatic.
They want to know ahead of time whether the endeavor is worth the effort. The oracle is an instrumental use of symbolic inquiry to fathom the profitability of a future enterprise. Select male elders of the suitor's lineage would consult the oracle divinity Orunmila who serves as the refraction of the supreme being, Olodumare.
The intention is to find out whether the marriage will benefit the extended family. Symbolic presents are made to the priest of Orunmila. The priest of Orunmila is known as the Keeper of Secrets or fortune-teller Babalawo. The gifts include a goat, two fowl, two pigeons, a tortoise, and a snail. This ritual consultation serves as an occasion for the redistribution of meat, a scarce commodity in Yoruba society.
Parts of the goat, such as the head and the hind legs, are sent as present to the elderly members of the consulting family. The rest of the goat is cooked for the members of the extended family of the fortune-teller. The other items serve as the consultation fees for the service rendered. Again, it is very rare for the results of the oracle divination to contradict the general mood of the extended family modeled on the findings of the go-between. It is not without reason that the pragmatic Yoruba proverb emphatically asserts that one ought to use one's hands to repair one's fortune Owo eni laafi ti tun ara eni se.
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If the oracle is positive, the process of courtship, until then private and secretive, now becomes a public event with all the formality for which the ancient, dignified Yoruba culture is known. If the portent is negative, elders dig up some forgotten past occurrence that has prohibited marriage between members of both families.
The sociological significance of this step in the marital process has to do with the desire to cloak the wishes of the extended family in the present in the garb of tradition so as to make the results more final and readily acceptable to the parties. It would be unthinkable in the traditional close-knit Yoruba society for the spouses to take the only choice left to them by refusing the pronouncement of the oracle and opting to elope.
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In the Yoruba traditional society, one's fortunes and safety are guaranteed only as a member of one's group of ascription. To separate oneself from the group by elopement would amount to social suicide.
Once the approval has been given, the suitor is then allowed to visit the home of the prospective spouse. The stories in The Bloody Chamberare fired by the conviction that human nature is not immutable, that human beings are capable of change. Some of their most brilliant passages are accounts of metamorphoses. Think of "The Courtship of Mr Lyon", which ends with Beast transformed by Beauty - "When her lips touched the meathook claws, they drew back into their pads and she saw how he had always kept his fists clenched, but now, painfully, tentatively, at last began to stretch his fingers"; or of the story with which it is twinned, "The Tiger's Bride", where this time Beauty is transformed by Beast - "And each stroke of his tongue ripped off skin after successive skin, all the skins of a life in the world, and left behind a nascent patina of shiny hairs.
My earrings turned back to water and trickled down my shoulders; I shrugged the drops off my beautiful fur". The heroines of these stories are struggling out of the straitjackets of history and ideology and biological essentialism. And in the movie It's very important that if we haven't, we might as well stop now.
This story is also a version of the Bluebeard fairy tale that appeared in Perrault's collection, where a new bride unlocks the forbidden room in her husband's castle to find the murdered corpses of his former wives.
Perrault drew the moral that female curiosity leads to retribution, though in the France of his time, where death in childbirth was commonplace and four-fifths of the resultant widowers remarried, the bloody chamber might surely have been seen as the womb.
In Carter's 20th-century version, the menace is located not in the perils of childbirth, but in the darker side of hetero-sexuality, in sadomasochism and the idea of fatal passion. As well as all this, The Bloody Chamber is a tour de force in its recreation of late- 19th-century France.
Carter claimed the stories in this collection could not have existed the way they did without the example of Isak Dinesen - "because in a way they are imitation 19th-century stories, like hers"; such stories are she described elsewhere "highly structured artefacts with beginnings, middles, and ends and a schematic coherence of imagery". Certainly this is an accurate description of The Bloody Chamber's title story, which, like each of the highly wrought stories in Isak Dinesen's Seven Gothic Tales, reads almost like a novella.
Nearly all her writing is strikingly full of cultural and intertextual references, but this story is extremely so. It is an artfully constructed edifice of signs and allusions and clues. On the walls of his castle hang paintings of dead women by Moreau, Ensor and Gauguin; he listens to Wagner specifically "Liebestod" - "love-death" - in Tristan und Isolde ; he smokes Romeo y Julieta cigars "fat as a baby's arm"; his library is stocked with graphically- described sadistic pornography and his dungeon chamber with mutilated corpses and itemised instruments of torture.
In this heavily perfumed story, the Marquis' smell of spiced leather, Cuir de Russie, is referred to more than half a dozen times, reverting at the end "to the elements of flayed hide and excrement of which it was composed".
Descriptions of scented lilies, "cobraheaded, funereal", smelling of "pampered flesh", appear nine times, their fat stems like "dismembered arms". The words "immolation," "impalement", "martyr" and "sacrifice" occur, motif-like, at regular intervals but, abruptly - rather too abruptly for some critics - on the last two pages of this novella-length story the heroinevictim is rescued from decapitation by the sudden arrival of her pistol-toting maman, who puts a bullet through the Marquis' head.
Her fate is not immutable after all; she discovers that her future looks quite different now that she has escaped from the old story and is learning to sing a new song. There follow three cat tales.
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The first two are Beauty and the Beast transformations, as described earlier. Carter writes with tremendous relish when describing skin, fur, fabric and snowcovered landscapes. To say she is wonderful at surfaces sounds a little disparaging, as if to say she is superficial. No; she is good at surfaces as the Gawain poet is good at surfaces. The third cat story, "Puss-in-Boots", is utterly different from its predecessors. It is "the first story that I wrote that was supposed to be really funny, out-and-out funny", said Carter.
It is a precursor in its ribald cynical tone to her last two novels, Nights at the Circus and Wise Children, and in its turningaway from the Gothic mode towards the determinedly benign.
The first-person narrator, the cat himself, is a witty raconteur and master of innuendo, proceeding mainly by rhetorical questions and exclamations.
His language is a vivid mixture of Latinate elaboration and Anglo-saxon bluntness: In each one of them, lovers are lethal, traditional romantic patterns kill, and sex leads to death.
It is based on a variant of "Snow White", which the brothers Grimm collected but chose not to publish, in which Snow White's birth is a result of her father's desire rather than her mother's, as in the more familiar version of the story. It started life as a radio play, Vampirella first broadcast inso probably written well before the rest of this collection, which Carter said she wrote mostly during her time in Sheffield, where she was Arts Council Fellow from Carter, an avid reader of Anne Rice's vampire novels, said the idea for the radio play came to her when she was sitting idly trying to work and ran a pencil along the top of a radiator - "It was just the noise that a long, pointed fingernail might make if it were run along the bars of a birdcage.
The girl cuts off the wolf's paw, but finds that it is really her grandmother's hand. The old woman is stoned to death as a witch. Its first pages are given to a zestful atmospheric essay on the wolf, "carnivore incarnate", with vivid werewolf anecdotes. Not until over a third of the way into the story does the Red Riding Hood narrative begin. The filmmaker Neil Jordan remembered: I suggested to her that we develop it into a Chinese box structure At the end of Perrault's familiar version of the story, she gets into bed with the wolf and is gobbled up.
We must learn to cope with the world before we can interpret it. Last of all, "Wolf-Alice" returns to Gothic territory and the gloomy mansion of a werewolf-duke. The story also borrows from an early medieval Red Riding Hood analogue, De puella a lupellis servata, which tells the story of a feral child suckled by wolves.
Again, there is a lice-borne rejection of disgust at animal nature in an evocation of "the Eden of our first beginnings where Eve and grunting Adam squat on a daisy bank, picking the lice from one another's pelts".