In the short story “The Tiger’s Bride,” by Angelia Carter, a highly aware narrator, relates how events affect her with a detached, unfriendly perspective. The narrator makes explicit the predicament of women’s existence by highlighting her condition. Finding herself caught between two society’s one where she is viewed as an object and having no voice and the other society having a voice somebody wanting to connect with her on a sexual level. Brooke demonstrates this by bringing notice to the importance of the power of virginity and the sexual freedom.
In the opening of Tiger’s Bride, Beauty’s initial relationship to patriarchy is denied rationality and is therefore regarded as being incapable of free choice. According to Brooke, Beauty’s father reveals the nature of his relationship with his daughter, by showing the ownership. Beauty is seen in her father’s eyes as a marketable object. The fact that her dad lost her in a game of cards demonstrates that she does not have a choice at all. “I watched with the furious cynicism peculiar to women whom circumstances force mutely to witness folly. ” This demonstrates that her father only sees her as property and not human.
Beauty’s virginity is her most attractive quality to the Beast who desires her as he gives her the white rose. Brooke’s view on the white rose that was given to Beauty upon the Beast’s arrival for the evening game is symbolic. “This white rose, unnatural, out of season, that now my nervous fingers ripped, petal by petal, apart as my father magnificently concluded the career he had made of catastrophe. ” Beauty stripping away the petals of the flower, symbolizes her stripping away the outer layers of attachment and personality to find her true core. The picking of the flowers can be seen as her frustration to her dad losing her o happen later in the story.
Beauty is not naive to the fact that her father has not only lost her to the Beast but also her innocence. She gives her father a remembrance of what he has done. “My tear be slobbered father wants a rose to show that I forgive him. ” When I break off a steam, I prick my finger and so he gets his rose all smeared with blood. ” The white rose means virginity, the blood mean defloration, and the thorn showing the pain of her objectification, but also her own fierceness and pride. The fierceness Beauty has is shown with her longing the wild innocence of horses wishing she could flee with them.
Beauty’s woman sexuality is denied. Beauty’s ride to the castle leaves her in remembrance of the stories that scared her as a child. The stories were used in order to install in her a code of feminine behavior. “Yes my beauty Gobble you up” This can be associated with the anticipation of the consumption of the marriage night. When a woman is supposed to give herself to her husband. This consumption is something that is unable to take place for Beauty because she no longer has any choice to whom she may marry because of her father having to give her over to the Beast.
With her body being used as if it is on the market Beauty feels that she should be able to find the power in her virginity. “For now my own skin was my sole capital and today I’d make my first investment. ” According to Brooke, such a loss also divests her of any capital worth for future paternal exchange; a violated daughter is valued little on the marriage block. With the losing of her virginity she will not be looked at as being able to become someone’s wife with the losing of something so dear. That is why she requests a lot of things from the Beast to make sure that she is well taken care of upon her release from the Beast.
Having a body that has never been seen by anyone before The Beast has a “bestial” desire, but he does not abuse his power. When requesting that removes her clothes for him but he wants her to do at her own will. Beauty’s invite to ride with the Beast and Valet leaves her with the assessment of her situation. That men denied her rationality, she was a virgin, could see one single soul in the wilderness. Beauty now begins to sense the strength in herself and her social codes of civility rather than in the Beast.
However it was not until Beauty meets with the maid she was able to see her true identity. “When | looked at the mirror again, my father disappeared and I saw a pale hollow-eye girl whom I scarely recognized. ” Brooke sees this moment as being the first time Beauty sees herself no longer being an object to her father. Never having to reveal herself, Beauty was not use to her own skin. With the removing of her clothing is the releasing of her freedom. The revealing, of one’s true self to make change in the patriarchal. The Beast, showing that once he loses the mass how he is now able to be free.
Brooke sees the disrobing as shifting their relationship from domain of masculine contract that on transition is necessary because both having been excluded form androcentric society. The Beauty grows wilder. Bringing her closer to the Beast in wanting that same freedom which the Beast demonstrates once he is undressed. Beauty approaching the tiger in his lair. Her offering is not that of the lamb on the altar, but rather one without fear. Brooke suggests that with the licking of the skin it is stripping of all socialized virtues.
The Beast lair is a place of violence, where the tiger eats his prey and licks off Beauty’s skin, but it is also a place of love as she transforms to connect with The Beast and her own wildness. “The Beast licks the Beauty’s hands, and she fears his rough tongue will rip off her skin – and it does. Layer after layer of skin disappears, finally revealing fur, and Beauty’s earrings turn to water, and the heroine herself becomes a tiger. ” The Beauty’s pain is also symbolic of losing her virginity. The transformation into a beast can be seen as a revelation of the possibilities if sexuality.