Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Angela Carter’s Puss-in-Boots

As recommended by Sharon, I read the Puss-in-Boots by Angela Carter from “The Bloody Chamber.” The author takes the original story of Puss-in-boots and uses parts of it to make an original story. In that way, the reader/audience is familiar with the story, but their expectations are subverted. Reading this was beneficial for my game’s narrative, as I can observe how to take parts of an older text and rework it into a new story. Carter has also reworked this story for a new audience by adding humour - mostly the flamboyant cat and his interactions with other characters.

In the story, the confident and humorous talking cat, Figaro, helps his master cheat at gambling to earn money and get food. He then goes on to help his master get with a women he has fallen in love with. The woman is already married to a horrible and neglecting husband, as is constantly watched by the housekeeper.

I was keen to read this radioplay/script, as I’ve heard that Carter is a feminist writer. Therefore, I paid particular attention to the heroine of the story and looked at how other characters interact with her. The heroine in this story is imprisoned in her house and not allowed to leave, because of her husband, who she was forced to wed due to an arranged marriage. The husband, Signor Panteleone, treats his wife as a possession, letting her only look out the window for an hour a day and only going outside to go to church. However, Carter takes the stereotype of princess locked in the castle and saved by a prince and subverts it. Once Panteleone is dead, the wife seems more assertive and aggressive, firing her housekeeper and snatching her husband’s keys from his body.

It has always been important for me to see strong female characters in games, therefore studying this text was beneficial for considering characters in my own game.

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