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Summary and Analysis of The Company of Wolves by Angela Carter

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Summary and Analysis of The Company of Wolves by Angela Carter essay

“The Company of Wolves” is a combination of small story segments all included in the same space and time. The wolf-infested forests is a dangerous area for any traveller, the reason being that wolves are smart and take advantage of the environment so that the thoughtless get lured out of path and lost. The cold-blooded villagers taught their kids to carry machetes for their own safety. In a nearby town, there was a wolf that killed many people up until he was traped by a hunter. The hunter killed the wolf instantly and the corpse of the wolf turned into a man’s carcass. Witches were notorious for turning people into wolves when people did something to annoy them.

In The Company of Wolves Angela Carter explores the idea of violence, power, sex and how they relate. The story utilizes werewolves as an embodiment of animal-like characteristics and shows how these ravenous beasts use their abilities to try and quench their hunger. Carter parallels the werewolf with a blossoming naive girl wanting to explore her sexuality. The story shows how she can be manipulated, but also her discovery of the power she possesses over men.

A small segment in the fairytale is dedicated to the story of a young bride that lost her husband on their wedding night. The man turned into a werewolf and run away. The poor bride found another man to build a life with. On the winter solstice, the werewolf came back only to see his wife with another man. There were wolf bit of the leg of one of the kids and the new husband slain him instantly. Nevertheless, most people become werewolves by choice and we should not feel sorry for them.

Another case incorporated into the “Company of Wolves” is about young lady that chooses the path through the woods with the goal that she can get to her sick grandmother for Christmas. The young lady is very much aware of the peril that there is out there, yet the adoration she has gotten from her family makes her more grounded. She grabbed her machete, wore her red shawl, and took the path to her grandmother. Carter depicts expressly that the young lady is entering her adolescence stage and her purity made her frighten of nothing. A howl in the backwoods made her grab the machete and prepared to battle, just to see a benevolent seeker originating from the forested areas. She befriended him so quick that he even offered to carry her container for her. The explorers wager that if the hunter was to go off the path and get to the house quicker, the young lady would have to give him a kiss. The seeker figured out how to go first in the house however, on his way the author mentions that he did something not-human; he ate his pray raw. He imitated the young lady’s voice and the grandma let him in. In the house, he turned into a werewolf, ate the grandma, shroud her cadaver under the bed and dressed like her to waited for the young lady to arrive. At the point when the young lady arrived, she saw the eyes of the monster and inquired as to for what reason are his eyes that way. At that point, a pack of wolves came outside the house and began howling; “Those are my siblings dear” said the wolf. The young lady was advised to toss her clothings on the fire and lay in the bed by the wolf. The end of the story is left hazy and the author closes with this quote “See! Sweet and sound she sleeps in granny’s bed, between the paws of the tender wolf”.

In “The company of Wolves” we can see many themes correlate with each other so that we can get a grasp of what was going on in the fairytale. The first theme I found interesting is that of having women always dependent on a man so that they can live. In the segment with the bride and the werewolf, we see that the wife had to find another man to take care of her. Most of the other themes were incorporated in the last and larger segment of the fairytale. The protagonist is a little young girl about to enter her adolescence. This character is defined to be bold and assure because of the love she has gotten out of her family and her being a virgin.

A lot of attention is paid on the appearance and the sexuality of the girl in such degree that we start question the standards for a children description. Something more terrifying is shown in the behavior of the protagonist because she seems unaware of the horrific events that happen around her. In the final part, we see her surrendering herself to the werewolf, obeying all of his commands in such level that he even calls her his pet. If we take into consideration what has happened, we can assume that two are the causes of this. The first one is that she does not know that she is in danger, due to the fact that she was never exposed to something this dangerous and she cannot distinguish it; This could hold truth because in the text the author describes how much love she received as a child and that she has no experience about life. The second cause of her subjugation could be deeply rooted in her gender role as a female. We observed before that a female norm of that age was that women could not take her of themselves. In addition to this, we can assume that another norm was that women are just property and their only role is to satisfy the man who is taking care of them.

Furthermore, we can assume that the girl’s gender and her purity is what led he act that way. Not much can be said about her grandmother, because she was of a very old age to fight back against the werewolf. The werewolf is the antagonist in this story and he is enforcing the norm that males have dominance over their female counterparts. He forces the young girl to throw her clothings in the fire, which clothing being attached to her character and in a way he is forcing her to give up herself to him, as if she has no will on her own.

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Summary And Analysis Of The Company Of Wolves By Angela Carter. (2022, May 16). GradesFixer. Retrieved September 29, 2022, from
“Summary And Analysis Of The Company Of Wolves By Angela Carter.” GradesFixer, 16 May 2022,
Summary And Analysis Of The Company Of Wolves By Angela Carter. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 29 Sept. 2022].
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