What makes Angela Carter's The Magic Toyshop a gothic novel?

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M.P. Ossa | College Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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The Magic Toyshop by Angela Carter is a novel with plenty of gothic elements. First, it has a central theme that dwells on the inevitability of life, the advent of fate, and the reality of human frailty. Second, the main character is undergoing a change which she cannot control. Already she lives a  dark and sullen life, and now she has to face growing up within limited and obstructing circumstances. Third, the tone and mood of the novel is quite sinister because it uses children's fairy tales as a way to transfer a message. This being said, it is quite eerie to see the Little Red Riding Hood mentioned in a story about a sad adolescent. 

Finally, the novel is also gothic in that magic, the surreal, and the supernatural are part of the importance of the plot. Myths and symbols are brought to life, and the air of mystery and suspense is ever-present in the story.

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