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Gender And Sexuality In The Company Of Wolves (Research Paper Sample)


Themes of sexual politics/gender in a relevant reading. (No Name Woman, The Company Of Wolves, The Handsomest Drowned Man in the World, Streetcorner Man, Legless Joe versus Black Robe, Sonny's Blues). Many of these works have
characters or situations that seem transgressive to the societies around them; how does this affect the work in question?


Gender and Sexuality in The Company of Wolves
Angela Carter's The Company of Wolves is arguably one of the fascinating adaptations of the classic fairy tale of Little Red Riding Hood. In this magnificent literary piece, Carter manages to explore strong themes such as gender, sexuality, violence, and feminism through the plot, settings, and characters present in the text. By choosing to highlight significantly transgressive perceptions surrounding gender, sexuality, and violence as they pertain to women, Carter is able to craft a unique and engaging adaptation of a classic fairy tale in which women are not victims but rather their own heroes (Bacchilega 59). This, in essence, transforms this story from a unique adaptation of a fairy tale into a powerful statement on the place of women in society, and the impacts of sexuality and gender on the male-female interactions in the real world.
Throughout the story, one of the core issues that stands out is the representation of a transgressive society in which the characters exist. The environment in which the characters exist is not only plagued by blood-thirsty werewolves, it is also laden with witches, ogres, and hobgoblins, all of which have no good intentions with regard to the human population (Carter 1). They not only curse many men, but also kill, and in the case of werewolves, devour said men. The savagery with which werewolves are depicted is in itself a symbolic representation of men in the society. The werewolves are part man and part beast, but Carter chooses to predominantly explore their beast-like features, and more so when it comes to how they interact with women within the story. At the beginning of the story, for instance, the woman is beaten by her first husband (a werewolf) for re-marrying and having children after his departure, as well as by her second husband for weeping over the death of the first husband (Carter 2). This essentially underscores the savage and brutal way in which women are treated in the society by men, perfectly setting the stage for the rest of the story that explores more transgressive themes and how women tie into them within the society.
Insofar as the main story is concerned, Red is portrayed as a confident and aware young girl that is seemingly unafraid of the werewolves that seem to terrify her village. In spite of the fact that is only entering puberty, she has been forced to grow up by the harsh society in which she lives, and as such is acutely aware of her sexuality and the power that it possesses. To this effect, when she meets a young man while going to visit her grandmother and they make a bet of which the price is a kiss, Red travels as slowly as she can so that she can share a kiss with the young man (Carter 4). Along the sam

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