Cheryl Renfroe


This essay examines the different levels and meanings of liminal experience in Angela Carter’s “The Bloody Chamber.” Framed by an anthropological understanding of “rites of passage,” the analysis focuses on similarities between the traditional misogynistic take on the “Bluebeard” heroine’s motivations and dominant negative interpretations of the disobedience of Eve in the biblical story of the fall. The result of Carter’s vindication of Bluebeard’s wife marks the possibility for sympathetic identification with Eve through an individual reader’s “initiation” into new ways of seeing the disobedience of women.