In the Bloody chamber we are subjected to the two very different male characters, each character having a very different symbolic representation in terms of the repression of women.
The marquis is suggestively portrayed as the dominant character, he is the active one in the relationship and is in constant control of the female narrator, which she is not oblivious to herself. It is the male Marquis who is controlling and deferring the sexual gratification until they reach his castle. The ring and the choker are physical evidence of the control he has over her, given as ‘gifts’ to his bride. She is objectified; she was no longer ‘HER’ daughter, in becoming ‘HIS’ wife. This illustrates her passive nature and her lack of independence.
She is a beautiful young bride yet she is also ‘horseflesh’ and ‘cuts on a slab’, surveyed by his ‘carnal avarice’. Linking back to Mulvey and her theory of female sexual repression and objectifying the women as male desire, it is obvious that the female narrator is the object of hunger and love is reduced to an extreme desire without feelings, just a simple physical appetite.
He belittles her like she was a child, ‘he doubted...for a chuckle, I would be quite so interested in his share certificates even though they were worth infinitely more’. He depicts what she should be interested in and what she shouldn’t be, he decides what she values more, paper or jewels.
He also holds the power of taking her virginity. He takes her purity away and in doing so gains even more power over her, she is now left un clean. She has lost the most precious gift of all, the thing that most attracted the male marquis to her, which makes her more vulnerable in their relationship.
The idea of the mirrors, multiply the power of the marquis. He can see her from many different angles; he can objectify her even more thoroughly.
In contrast the piano tuner, the other male character, is depicted as a more passive male role. The most significant factor which allows us to see this is he is blind. He does not possess the ability to see her, objectify her and repress her. Instead with regards to the female narrator, she seems to be in control. Instead, she judges him, noting he is ‘satisfactory’. He asks her permission, that one day he might get to listen to her play the piano. The fact that the male character is actually asking for permission from a women directly contrasts the idea of Male dominance and male power over their gaze.