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Title: The ethics of self-narration and the promise of silence in Angela Carter’s The Bloody Chamber.
Authors: Nurdiyana Hamzah Lee.
Keywords: DRNTU::Humanities::Literature::English
Issue Date: 2011
Abstract: One can hardly call Angela Carter a moralist and yet her infamous and controversial title story, The Bloody Chamber, provides the very space for a positive, moral and ethical response to take place in our reality from the our reading of the tale. A close reading of The Bloody Chamber will bring our attention to the complex and contradictory relationship between passivity and agency, victim and aggressor, as well as narrator and reader. It is in realizing the sinuous shifts within the aforementioned binaries that result in a similar shift in our perspective of ethics, responsibility and our ethical relationship with the Other. This essay will pay particular attention to Judith Butler’s “Giving an Account of Oneself” and her notions of ethics and responsibility in self-narration to further explore the heroine’s own ethics as a narrator. Georges Bataille’s Erotism will also be employed in exploring the readers’ involvement and relation with the heroine’s narrative. How should readers respond to the tale? What kind of speech should we assume in the wake of a vicious cycle of transgression, immorality and violence when it is speech itself, as seen through the heroine’s narrative, that provokes and perpetuates violence? It is here that silence may be seen as the only way to respond by acting as a statement of ethical commitment from one person to another. For it is through a promise in silence, in which possibility is abound and never fixed, that we promise the Other enduring life in our ethical responsibility.
Rights: Nanyang Technological University
Fulltext Permission: restricted
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:HSS Student Reports (FYP/IA/PA/PI)

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