Women in the 1960s: Angela Carter’s The Magic Toyshop
©2014 Textbook 45 Pages
In 1967, Angela Carter published a novel about an adolescent female protagonist growing up in a patriarchal system. Published at a moment in history when significant change, not only for women, but all of the western world was about to take place, The Magic Toyshop illuminates the metamorphosing social dynamics. Angela Carter sensed this moment but did not know where it was going to lead and what it would offer women. Guiding the reader through these pending seismic changes is Melanie, the novel's protagonist. As opposed to the other female characters of the novel who occupy only a fixed role suiting patriarchal hierarchy, Melanie is constantly shifting roles. She can be read as representative of the rebelling female, challenging patriarchal order. Melanie realises that none of the potential roles society offers women will satisfy her. In the end, she has the chance to enter a new world and a relationship defined by equality.