Carmilla

by

Sheridan Le Fanu

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on Carmilla can help.

Carmilla: Chapter 11 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
The General begins his story. It all started when they were invited to a masquerade by a wealthy Count. The masquerade was extravagant, with fireworks and fine music. The General was the only non-aristocrat present, along with Bertha, who wore no mask. She caught the attention of a young masked woman who was dressed magnificently, and was accompanied by an older lady who was also richly dressed.
The party was thrown by a wealthy nobleman, and the General makes the point that he and Bertha were the only non-aristocrats present. It is therefore particularly notable that the young woman focuses her interest on Bertha, showing that she prefers girls of the lower-class.
Themes
Class and Class Warfare Theme Icon
The two women approached and the older woman spoke to the General. She claimed to know him, referring to memories that the General could only vaguely recall, but refused to tell him who she was. Meanwhile, the younger girl, to whom her mother referred as Millarca, started up conversation with Bertha. She complimented Bertha, commenting on her beauty and mocking the others present. Eventually she removed her mask and Bertha was struck by her extreme beauty. The stranger was similarly taken with Bertha. 
The young girl comments specifically on Bertha’s beauty, and the physical attraction between the two is evident. The girl is not shy about expressing her feelings for Bertha, whom she has only just met. Millarca/Carmilla once again shows her desire for young women of the lower-class, despite (or perhaps because of) her previously-expressed disdain for them.
Themes
Women and Sexuality Theme Icon
Love and Lust Theme Icon
Class and Class Warfare Theme Icon
General Spielsdorf continued to push the girl’s mother, to whom he referred as Madame la Comtesse, to remove her mask and reveal her true identity, but she refused. They were interrupted by a man dressed in black with a pale face who asked to speak with the woman. The General contemplated the woman’s identity and how she remembered him. He was about to join in conversation with Bertha and the woman’s daughter when her mother returned.
The mysterious nature of the woman and her daughter is emphasized, as it was with Carmilla and her mother after their carriage crashed. Like her daughter, the woman uses her sexuality and wealth to further her own agenda.
Themes
Women and Sexuality Theme Icon