Each of the book’s ten tales contains some kind of “bloody chamber,” though the most obvious is the torture room of the titular story. The bloody chamber is a place of both violence and enlightenment, as the first heroine discovers the true nature of her husband’s desires and her own inevitable fate in this room. Other “bloody chambers” include the Beast
’s room in “The Tiger’s Bride,” the blood-filled hole in “The Snow Child,” and the grandmother
’s house in “The Werewolf” and “The Company of Wolves.” The combination of violence and enlightenment in these places usually takes a sexual form, as in the first bloody chamber the torture is part of the Marquis’ sadistic desires. Because of this, the “bloody chambers” of the book act as symbols of a woman’s vagina or womb, and the blood is associated with menstruation or the loss of virginity. Throughout the stories Carter associates sexual awakening with violence, but also with a kind of enlightenment or transformation, as in the chamber of “The Company of Wolves,” where the girl changes from victim to devourer through seducing the wolf. Thus the “bloody chamber” of a woman’s body becomes the site of both oppression and metamorphosis.