The story The Snow Child by Angela Carter

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Angela Carter's novel The Snow Child

Angela Carter's novel The Snow Child takes place during the winter season. A Countess and Count are seen horseback riding in the middle of the melting snow, which seems to be falling in steady prose from far within the pale sky. When they are already traveling, the Countess makes a wish to own a child with the whiteness of snow (MITCHISON et al., p. 64). They go on until they come to a crater in the ground with a pool of blood. The Countess then makes another wish of being in possession of a girl that would be as red as the color of blood. They went ahead, and then they spot a raven, he then makes another wish of wanting to be in possession of a girl that would be as black as the color of the bird's feather.

The Jealousy Theme

After a while, a girl of the Count's wish appears by the road side being as white as the color of a white moth with black hair. Unluckily, the girl is totally naked, and he takes her on his horse. The countess on seeing the girl, she plots on how she would get rid of the girl since she was more beautiful and had all aspects of beauty (Antonelli et al., p. 109). This is a replica of the scenario that took place in the story about Snow White. She was more beautiful than the children of the woman who had taken her in as her daughter. The girls hate Snow White since she is more beautiful that they were which made them feel uneasy. Also, they began to hate on her and were driven by their jealousy towards her.

The Little Red Riding Hood

In the Little Red Riding Hood, the little village girl had always been happy for she was the prettiest girl in the village. Her mother grew so fond of her for owing to her beauty that there was no one else to compare to (MITCHISON et al., p. 66). The woman was bragging about her daughter. Since her grandmother was in deep admiration of her beauty, she had a Little Red Riding Hood made for her. The beauty that the Little Red Riding Hood had was incompatible to that of the village girl. The girl’s mother did not love the Little Red Riding Hood since she was the reason her daughter wasn’t the prettiest in the region again.

Dependence on Different Versions

The woman made a plan to ensure the demise of the Little Red Riding Hood. This is the same theme on which the Little Snow White and the Snow Child are about (MITCHISON et al., p. 64). This shows that all of them have a theme on jealousy on which one feels hatred for another character in the same story. However, the description upon which the Snow Child is dependent on is that of a girl's apparent death, her blossoming from the ground and her miraculous rebirth (Grimm et al., p. 175). The story clarifies a developing system that is expansive on the motifs and patterns on which most folktales regard. However, for those who are in deep fascination of the Little Red Riding Hood and Snow White, the Little Snow Child is utterly dependent on a different version of both stories (MITCHISON et al., p. 69). The story does not mention dwarfs, a magic mirror that talks in response to questions, a princess or rather apples that have poisoning elements.

Dependence on Jealousy and Character

The omission of more aspects that the Little Red Riding Hood and Snow White major on ensures that the story is only dependent on a particular point in both stories. The critical part of both stories that the snow child relays its argument and theme is of jealousy and character. In the Snow Child, the Countess forcefully made the girl pick a flower from a thorny bush which made her prick herself (MITCHISON et al., p. 67). The Count got annoyed by this action by her Countess. He suddenly climbed down his horse to safeguard his beautiful brazen from harm. However, he was unlucky as the girl began to melt. Apparently, this indicates that the story, the Snow Child has aspects of magical powers and the existence of supernatural beings.

Dependence on Magical Powers and Beings

The aspect of power and the existence of supernatural beings are the same as those that take place in the Little Red Riding Hood and Snow White. This exposes the issue that all the stories address. Some of the stories that most authors write in this century, hide the fact that there are stories that talk about supernatural powers and beings in the same story. However, this is not the case that takes place in the Snow Child. The story openly talks about magic from the start to the end of the story. It is a better way of trying to appreciate the capabilities that most people choose to ignore just because they feel that their existence is not given any consideration in the modern world.

The Importance of Presence at Birth

At the time when the Count makes his wish, the Countess was present. She was a witness to the creation process that the Count began. Concisely, there it is always significant for the mother to be present at the place of birth as a show of approval to the birth. This is because; women are the ones who give birth in the contemporary society. Their presence causes a perception and feeling of importance (MITCHISON et al., p. 71). The magical skills that the Count has, help him to quench his thirst for the thoughts in his mind. The factor that makes it easy to identify the character of the Count as being in possession of power are the pelts of black foxes that he wore. The simple outlook that is known is the suggestion of the cunning and predatory nature that the Count portrays. Also, under keen examination, the character of the Count is that of a person who is in the embalmment of possessing supernatural powers.

Violence and Sexual Advancements

The role of the Countess is hard to tell without the presence of the magical girl. She dresses neatly in Spurs and scarlet heels. The color of the heels is mainly from the action that the Spurs are meant to cause. This is an apparent show of the idea of violence that exists within the story. Violence is among the factors that classify as vices that most articles shun. The Snow Child gives a depiction of the violence that the other two stories portray. In the story in which the Little Red Riding Hood is the leading character, she is eaten by the fox in bed with the previous thought that the person in bed with her was her grandmother. The action of the fox devouring on her grandmother before her arrival to the house shows the merciless nature of the fox and the author. It is clear that the fox was devouring on the girls just for fun since it was already full after feeding on the grandmother.

Another issue that the story addresses is that of sexual advancements. The Count makes his wish not only to have girl but also for her to be utterly beautiful in appearance. This shows that he only had the intention to use the girl as a sexual object to satisfy his physical and emotional desires. This is a wrong perception that most males have on their female counterparts. From the story, the issue that invokes the Count’s wish for the girl is the physical sight of blood and snow (Platt, p. 101). In actual sense, the relationship that most people have is that of adverse circumstances that are not pleasant. This ties the Count's wish to the thought that is unpleasant in anyway whatsoever. This depicts and highlights the ill thoughts that some of the characters in the Little Red Riding Hood and Snow White had in their respective stories.

Submission and Moral Decay

The snow child and the Countess are all under the control of the Count. This is a show of submission towards the Count’s whims. The Countess is seriously is in deep disgust when the Count creates a beautiful girl through the thoughts in his mind and exercises his sexual needs on her corpse. The author shows moral decay that is evident in the society and also the two other stories through this scene in the story. It saddens the reader to learn of the uncompromising situation that both the magical girl and the Countess find themselves. Although they are not happy with what the Count was doing, but there was nothing they could do to salvage the situation.

Thoughts and Nasty Desires

The Count weeps as he dismounts from the girl's corpse not because her death emotionally breaks him but because he feels his object of desire is no longer in his possession and control. The Count decided to climb down from her after fulfilling his sexual urge, she melts, and only a stain of blood remains of her. This shows that she wasn't real at all but just a mean representation of the nasty thoughts that the Count had in mind. This might have been the same case that the wolf in the Little Red Riding Hood (Platt, p. 87). The fox gave the girl the chance to undress and climb into bed with it. However, the author could not create the nasty image of the fox fulfilling its sexual desires on the girl, so he chose to create an alternate scene of the fox feeding on the girl (Platt, p. 94). This is a perfect depiction of the dirty thoughts and plans that most people in the contemporary society have and intend to accomplish.


Conclusively, the storyline of the article on the Snow Child is almost similar to that of the Snow White and Little Red Riding Hood (Grimm et al., p. 173). This is because most of the vices that other stories talk of are also inclusive in it. The story brings together all the unnecessary evils that take place in the society and work to dent the image of the moral society (Antonelli et al., p. 107). The author's story brings all these acts to show how the image of the community that has undergone indentation by such activities that the stories depict.

Works Cited

Platt, Jonathan Brooks. “Snow White and the Enchanted Palace: A Reading of Lenin’s Architectural Cult.” Representations, vol. 129, no. 1, 2015, pp. 86–115.

MITCHISON, NAOMI, and MARINA WARNER. “THE SNOW MAIDEN.” The Fourth Pig, Princeton University Press, 2014, pp. 62–73.

Antonelli, Emanuele. “Little Red Riding Hood: Victimage in Folktales and Cinema—A Case Study.” Contagion: Journal of Violence, Mimesis, and Culture, vol. 22, 2015, pp. 107–132.

Grimm, Jacob, et al. “LITTLE SNOW WHITE.” The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm: The Complete First Edition, Princeton University Press, 2014, pp. 170–178.

January 13, 2023

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