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Carter's take on the universally known fairytale 'Puss in Boots' demonstrates her ability to subvert our expectations of traditional folktales and the characters depicted. In this story, Carter explores a folkloric, narcissistic, speaking cat that helps a young man who has fallen in love come to consummation. Unlike other stories in Carter's collection, she adopts a much more light-hearted tone to make the sory much more entertaining and amusing for the reader.
Remind yourself of the story 'Puss in Boots' Explore how Angela Carter's use of language
makes the story entertaining and amusing for the reader.
From the opening of 'Puss in Boots' Carter gives us a clear representation of the protagonist, Fiagaro. Immediately, we get a sense that Puss is very self-dramatising and confident: 'Fiagro here; Fiagaro there' note the repetition Carter uses here, to emphasise that. The light-hearted tone is also established straight away, and the humour can be seen by Carter's use of hyperbolic language: 'cat of the word, cosmopolititan, sophisticated...' note the adjectives Carter uses here to foreground Puss' status and his apparent conceitedness. We then get a physical description of Puss, which makes further makes it amusing for he reader: 'proud of his fine, white shirtfont that dazzles harmoniously...' note the adverb used here to very much exagerate Puss' qualities and to get the light-hearted humorous tone across to the reader. Carter also shows Puss' flamboyant side: 'since that is the only language you can purr Merrrrrrrrrci.' Puss' narration also includes Italian and French. From this, we can not only see Puss' very sophisticated, but also rather egotistical side. We can quite clearly see how very self-dramatising and confident Puss is, and essentially us as the reader find it humorous that a cat is not only talking, but talking in several languages.
In this story, Carter's main ideology is seemingly to get away from the more darker stories in her collection, and she definitely achieves this. Another thing Carter plays with to show the humour element is showing Puss' athletic/powerful side to him, which again, seems very exagerated and over the top: 'Puss can perform a back somersault...and never spill a drop' note Carter's shift of tense here to 3rd person. Ultimately, by Carter making Puss speak about himself in 3rd person, emphasises Puss' narcissistic side. The tense then shifts to 1st person: '...without a safety net, I, Puss, have never yet attempted' The lexis used here shows off Puss' sophisticated side, making it entertaining for the reader.
Later in the story, we become aware about the female character in the play, who is married, and how the master wants to seal his love through consummation. Carter very much makes use of exaggerated language: 'Head over heals, Puss' to amplify his love - note the almost cliche phrase she uses here. Carter's use of sentence and paragraph structure is also important on adding towards the humour of the story: 'And she smiling.' and 'Love.' note how short these sentences are. Essentially, by Carter using one lined paragraphs it foregrounds the idea of love within the story and again, makes it entertaining for the reader. The theme of love/romance is further explored by Carter's use of sexual innuendos to humourize: 'and there he takes his fill of her lily-white...' note the flower used here symbolically, to very much represent the idea of virginity, purity and innocence.
Carter, just like in many of her other stories, makes use of intextuality, and in this case, used to add humour to the story: 'she had as much fun as two Cinderellas at an all-girls' ball' the reference being to the fairy tale Cinderella. The protagonist also makes references to opera, shakespeare and nursey-rhythmes, and essentially, this draws the reader in more and makes it entertaining.
Visiting the dialogue again, Carter is very successful at building the relationship between Puss and his Master for a comic effect. 'I'm burning with the fever of love!' note the exclamation used. 'Then we're spared the expenses of fires.' as well as: 'Kisses' followed by 'Well, you won't grow fat on that.' essentially, these jokes used, make the story entertaining and amusing for the reader. Additionally from this, we can clearly see Puss' attitude and how he disdains love. Perhaps jealousy is apparent here as Puss is no longer getting his Masters' full attention. Puss' attitude to love becomes further apparent by Carter's use of a rather poetic metaphor: 'this sealed oyster with such a pearl in it' this could be said to be ironic, as his view on love is contrary to this, and only changes in the narration towards the end of the story when he falls in love with the tabby.
To conclude, in 'Puss in Boots' each character has had their life changed in way way or another, and through that change the characters have found fulfillment. It shows how Carter can explore issues such as love and physical desire/lust, but in a light-hearted way, that proves to be entertaining and very much humorous for the reader.