Friday, 17 April 2015

Carla Connor's flamin' fireplace - what does it mean?

Screengrab by @rudemrlang on twitter
I'm intrigued by Carla Connor's fireplace - and no, that's not a euphemism. Or maybe it is?

Freud once said: "Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar." Try telling that to Mike Baldwin.

Are we to believe therefore that in the world of Coronation Street, where props are placed to tell us something about the person who lives on each set, that Carla's fireplace is just a fireplace?  I think not.  Let's analyse Carla Connor's fireplace.

Theory number 1.  The burning flames are a symbol of Carla's passion. She burns, she smoulders, she's hot. And she's getting ready to roast Nick's nuts.

Theory number 2. Fire is powerful and can be destructive, much like Carla and her life. It shows Carla's fired up, raring to go. What is it that powers that fire? Is it gas - silent, deadly? Is it electric - sparky, bright? Or does Carla just need to give it a death-glare to switch it on, using her mystical powers?

Theory number 3. It's a funeral pyre for two dead husbands and one dead lover.  The ashes of her dead husbands Paul Connor and Tony Gordon smoulder in the grate. They burn, so that she can keep warm on long, lonely nights.  Paul and Tony's ashes are mingled with the ashes from her lover Liam Connor, the real reason I believe she officially changed her surname back to Connor. Carla's tears extinguish the flames when she turns the fire off at night.

Theory number 4. It's a fashion statement. Carla works in fashion, therefore it fits that her interior decor suits her personality too. Along with the migraine-inducing red, white and black wallpaper, it's all a bit 90s. Much like the underwear that the factory churns out.

Theory number 5. It's her womb. One of my aunts died a few years ago and an abiding memory of her was when she came round to see my mam when I was just a child. I was sitting on the floor, listening in to my aunt and my mam talking and gossiping about people they knew.  They started talking about something I couldn't understand, something about a woman who'd been into hospital for an operation, which I realised much later was a hysterectomy. My aunt saw I was listening and decided the conversation was not for the likes of a child so she tempered her words to my mam with: "Yes, she had it all taken out, all of it... (clocks me watching her and says)... and a new fireplace put in." I think that line might have originally come from Les Dawson. This was the same aunt who trained her talking parrot to shout "Thatcher's a ba*tard, Thatcher's a ba*tard" every time Maggie Thatcher came on telly. That tells you a lot about my aunt and a great deal more about Thatcher.  Anyway, Freud says that hysteria is caused when the womb overheats. So you know, heat+fire=a rather ropey theory number 5.  

Theory number 6. It's just a flamin' fireplace! Sometimes a fireplace is just a fireplace, as Freud says.  But, on the other hand, as Belgian artist RenĂ© Magritte says about his painting of a pipe: "Ceci n'est pas une pipe" ("This is not a pipe").  He was right. It's not a pipe, it's a painting of one. 
So there you have it, six half-baked theories on the symbolism of a Coronation Street prop.  If you have any more suggestions of what Carla Connor's fireplace could signify, do please leave a comment and let me know!

Glenda Young
Flaming Nora Blog / Twitter   

Download our App | Follow on Twitter @CoroStreetBlog | Like on Facebook

Creative Commons Licence
All original work on the Coronation Street Blog is covered by a Creative Commons License


Cobblestone said...

It strikes me that the symbolism may only apply to Carla obliquely; its main thrust is to comment on the men who are drawn to her: the moths to her flame. The cozy fireside certainly seems to be pulling Nick in.

AmandaB said...


Anonymous said...

Superb stuff!

I have been fascinated with Carla's magical fire and I'd say it's a combination of a few of those theories!

I would add that it symbolises Carla's strength.

Anonymous said...

Does it have something to do with the forthcoming fire and explosion?

Frosty the Snowman said...

Strange to have a fire burning in the late spring months and that newbuilds actually have them. It couldnt be a real fire in a flat so it must be gas. Wouldnt be surprised if it is a tool for the fire and explosion we are to see in the future, especially if she gets Tyrone to repair it!!!

Humpty Dumpty said...

It's the lead-in to the storyline about the fire in the block of flats. Carla falls asleep on the sofa having drunk a bottle of red. Burning coal falls out of the grate and sets the flat alight. Nick hears the smoke alarm and breaks into her flat or, maybe, they've given each other a spare key for security. Nick saves Carla's life and ... I haven't got any further than that.

Anonymous said...

Nick is in trauma and recalls that he has a brain injury. Cue Carla at his bedside for months then a wedding. Kai dies trying to save the lives of everyone at the factory staff outing to the gym (which includes many people who don't work at the factory). Fiz gets out of a taxi arriving home just in time to put the fire out and gets a memorial bench named after her.

Tvor said...

It's probably an electric fire. I love Cobblestone's theory of moths to a flame!

And Carla had ugly red and black flocked wallpaper at the other flat, too! Looks like they're just carrying on the decor

Anonymous said...

Love this, brilliant and so funny... just been chuckling in bed (not a euphemism) Susan

Anonymous said...

I'm with Cobblestone.

Anonymous said...

The fire is fake--just like Carla. She returns from a trip to sunny California pale as a ghost. Where was she really? She sported jet black hair for years, fake. The notes she obessively writes at her desk at t'facktry -fake.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Our Top 10 Blog Posts in last 7 days (automatically updated)

Click on a name to find out more about your Corrie favourites!

aidan connor alan halsall alex bain alison king alison sinclair all about soap awards amy barlow amy kelly andrea beckett andrew paul andy carver andy whyment anna windass anne kirkbride antony cotton audrey roberts awards barbara knox barlows battleaxes becky mcdonald behind the scenes ben price ben tagoe bet gilroy bet lynch beth tinker bethany platt betty driver betty turpin betty williams betty's hotpot bev callard bev unwin beverley callard bill roache bill tarmey billy mayhew billy the vicar blanche hunt brooke vincent bruno langley Callum Logan can i visit the coronation street set Canada canadian coronation street fans cardy o'donnell carla barlow carla connor carmel morgan catherine tyldesley cathy matthews celebrities on coronation street characters joining coronation street characters leaving coronation street charlie condou cherylee houston chesney brown chris fewtrell chris gascoyne claire king classic corrie clothes worn on coronation street colson smith competition conversation street coronation street art coronation street fan events coronation street fan of the week coronation street fans coronation street funerals coronation street history coronation street in canada coronation street look-a-like coronation street map coronation street men coronation street merchandise coronation street news coronation street spoilers Coronation Street The Tour coronation street weekly update coronation street weekly updates coronation street writers craig charles damon rochefort daran little david neilson david platt debbie oates debbie rush deirdre barlow deirdre hunt deirdre Langton deirdre perm deirdre rachid Dennis Tanner dev alahan eileen derbyshire eileen grimshaw ellie-louise leach elsie tanner emily bishop emily nugent ena sharples exclusive interview famous people who have been in corrie fat brenda faye windass fiz brown fiz stape flaming nora florizel street flying ducks gail hillman Gail McIntyre gail platt gail potter gail rodwell gail tilsley gary windass gary's army diaries gay and lesbians gay men in coronation street gay men in soaps gay women in soaps granada manchester coronation street set granada studios gurn of the week helen worth hilda ogden hilda ogden's curlers Hope Stape hot pot how to contact coronation street inside soap magazine izzy armstrong jack and vera duckworth jack p shepherd jane danson jane danson's husband jason grimshaw jennie mcalpine jigsaw jimmi harkishin job vacancies at coronation street julie carp julie goodyear julie hesmondhalgh julie jones julie walters kabin karen mcdonald kate ford katherine kelly kathy jones katie mcglynn Katy Cavanagh ken barlow kevin webster kim crowther kirk sutherland kylie platt kylie turner kym marsh kym ryder leanne barlow leanne battersby leanne tilsley leanne's real mother les dennis lisa george liz mcdonald lloyd mullaney maggie jones malcolm hebden maria connor maria gordon maria sutherland mark llewellin maxine's bench michael le vell michelle connor mikey north mikey north miley windass minnie caldwell Morrissey mothers on the cobbles new set newton and ridley nick tilsley nick's bistro nigel pivaro no.1 Coronation Street no.11 coronation street no.13 coronation street no.3 coronation street no.5 coronation street no.6 coronation street no.7 coronation street no.9 coronation street norris cole norris cole's brother nuttalls brewery odd side of the street official coronation street website oldham coliseum on location outside broadcast paddy mcguinness pat phoenix patti claire patti clare paula lane peter barlow peter gunn pets on coronation street phil collinson Philip Lowrie pickled jo pictures of the coronation street set pigeons pillars of the community platt family props qasim akhtar returning characters rita fairclough rita littlewood rita sullivan road to coronation street rovers bosses rovers fire rovers return rovers return barmaids rovers return fire rovers return landlady roy and hayley roy cropper roys rolls ryan thomas sally webster sally and tim sally dynevor sally webster sally whittaker sam aston samia smith sarah platt schmeichel sean tully simon barlow simon crowther simon gregson sinead tinker sophie webster state of the street steve mcdonald storyline speculation storylines streetcars stuart blackburn stuffed marrow sue cleaver sue johnston sue nicholls sylvia cropper sylvia goodwin terence maynard terry duckworth the corrie years the kabin the road to coronation street through the years tina mcintyre todd grimshaw tony warren Tony Warren inspiration tours of coronation street tracy barlow trafford set tram crash tricia hopkins tyrone dobbs underworld underworld sign unofficial book vera duckworth victoria court fire walking tours weatherfield weatherfield arms weatherfield council weatherfield county weatherfield county football club weatherfield fire station weatherfield gazette weatherfield haulage Weatherfield Open Days weatherfield style weatherfield wayfarer wedding wedding dress weddings weekly awards weekly update where have you seen william roache William Roache Interview window cleaners writers for soaps