Culture, for Bakhtin, is simultaneously a way of creating social relations capable of challenging authority and hierarchy and of envisioning an alternative order. Thus, medieval carnival drew people together to mock and also substantively to challenge the powerful, while presenting a non-hierarchical society which carnival participants actually could create. That is why, Bakhtin asserts, "carnival does not know footlights" (11965] 1968, p. 7). The power of the carnival was that it was not a fantasy to be watched or a satire to be enjoyed. Rather, it was a plausible alternative that participants had it in their power to create. Bakhtin shows that, once class society became irreversibly cemented into place in early modern Europe, the meaning of carnival, as an event and as a trope in literature, was transformed. The grotesque imagery of actual carnival and of Rabelais' novels changed from being a representation and enactment of the common people's collective capacity to transform to the social world into "a subjective, individualistic world outlook" ( 1968, p. 36). In the late eighteenth century, grotesque "acquired a private 'chamber' character ... marked by a vivid sense of isolation" (p. 37). "The images of Romantic grotesque usually express fear of the world and seek to inspire their reader with this fear. On the contrary, images of folk culture are absolutely fearless".