It would take an entire paper just to explicate all of the roles that women play today and how society has changed as a result. The point is that it has changed and that women play a much different role in literature today than they did even just a century ago during Woolf's time. Woolf saw just a glimpse into the social turn that has led to the present day and the feminist views that have inundated our society. Her era was still filled with male dominated ideas. Ideas that shaped her world and in many ways made her into the woman she was. Her feminist ideals would have never emerged had there not been a need for them. At the beginning of her essay, a Room of One's Own, Woolf states clearly that she was asked to write on the subject (1) *
. it's a rather ambiguous statement…… [Read More]
Mr. Forster, it seems, has a strong impulse to belong to both camps at once. He has many of the instincts and aptitudes of the pure artist (to adopt the old classification) -- an exquisite prose style, an acute sense of comedy, a power of creating characters in a few strokes which live in an atmosphere of their own; but he is at the same time highly conscious of a message. Behind the rainbow of wit and sensibility there is a vision which he is determined that we shall see. But his vision is of a peculiar kind and his message of an elusive nature." This seems to be a hint as to Woolf's own approach. Certainly a work like "The Death of the Moth" exhibits an "exquisite prose style" and even has its own moment of forlorn comedy, perhaps, in its closing line: but behind all of Woolf's observation…… [Read More]
Virginia oolf's "A Room of Her Own": ar, Independence, and Identity
"[a]s a woman, I have no country. As a woman I want no country. As a woman, my country is the whole world" -Virginia oolf
The Chinese character for "crisis" is a combination of the words "danger" and "opportunity." It is often the case that when people are faced with hardship, they experience inward, mental, changes as a coping strategy to continue thriving in a new environment. History is ridden with stories of human strength and persistence in the face of imminent danger, such as with Holocaust victims, or any near-death experience. The threat of death, say in times of war, has serious psychological effects on people: for instance, post-traumatic-stress-disorder is commonly attributed to individuals coming from a war-torn area. The effects of war and violence can also be seen in advancing the intellectual movements that have occurred during…… [Read More]
Virginia Woolf's Final Novel -- and George Orwell
Virginia Woolf's novel, etween The Acts was her final published work, and it would be reasonable for a reader who knows how she chose to end her life (by drowning herself in the River Ouse on March 28, 1941), to suspect that she committed suicide in part because she was in great despair over the frightening possibility of the Nazis being successful in their threat to invade, take over, and/or destroy England.
Woolf wrote the novel in the midst of the "London litz," and in fact her house was bombed by the German rockets being fired across the English Channel. This deeply disturbed Woolf, who had suffered through periods of depression and mental anguish in her life. Add to her psychological problems the fact that things certainly looked dark for the English, and life was very bleak at that time in her…… [Read More]
The withdrawal into this room, away from the others, and the pleasant, cheerful view out of the window bring a sudden realization upon her: the death of her husband actually means freedom, the freedom to live for herself only and enjoy her own life. As in Virginia's oolf book, Mrs. Mallard realizes the importance of a woman's having a room of her own, that is, her own private world where she can enjoy her own life. hen she gets out of the room she had come to mourn for her husband, Mrs. Mallard finds with stupefaction that her husband had just arrived and that he had never been in the accident. The end of story tells us she dies "of joy," according to the others. Thus, Chopin's story perfectly illustrates the ideas that Virginia oolf will express later in her book: women felt muffled in a society that didn't give…… [Read More]
The giant who was once a demi-god suddenly becomes a devil's minion. This revelation rests within the woman's power; Virginia had no problem openly revealing George's impotence, failure in his career, and turn of temperament while Nora - admittedly a bit more gracious, though none the less cunning - did nothing to Torvald's immediate public image. The harm to Torvald would come later, when explaining why his wife and 'doll' were absent from his and the children's lives.
For many centuries, women have been considered chattel - possessions by which a man defines his strength, virility, and power. Women -- seeking safety, security, and a family to which they can address their need to nurture -- have accepted the role of property. The quote referenced for this work, while true for many decades, is inherently and progressively changing. It is safe to say that these same women were merely…… [Read More]
Virginia oolf's a Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
In his novel, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, James Joyce employs symbols and motifs to illustrate Stephen's maturity and growth. Joyce brings to mind the myth of Icarus and Daedalus, which help us understand Stephen's thoughts and actions. Joyce also includes such symbols as color and water to demonstrate the Stephen's development. In addition, Joyce utilizes motifs such as fire, prayer, and religion to emphasize the incredible impact religion makes on Stephen as a young boy and how it influences his decisions as a young adult.
One significant use of symbolism in "A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man" is the myth of Icarus and Daedalus. Like Icarus and Daedalus, Stephen is wandering and seeking his identity. Because he is on a path to self-discovery, Joyce has Stephen walk the path of many…… [Read More]
In "The Mark on the all" and "A Room of One's Own," we see how this style proved to be successful for oolf in many ways. It allowed her to experiment with stream of consciousness thinking and writing and it also opens the door for other feminist writing. Her narrative form is as much a part of her argument as her topic is and her stories and essays prove that women can and could create good fiction.
Abrams, M.H. "Virginia oolf." The Norton Anthology of English Literature. Vol. II. New York .. Norton and Company. 1986.
Marder, Herbert. "The Mark on the all: Overview." Reference Guide to Short Fiction. atson, Noelle, ed. 1994. GALE Resource Database. Site Accessed November 5, 2004. http://www.infotrac.galegroup.com
Rosenberg, Beth Carole. "Virginia oolf: Overview." Feminist riters. Kester-Shelton, Pamela. 1996. GALE Resource Database. Site Accessed November 5, 2004. http://www.infotrac.galegroup.com
Untermeyer, Louis. The College Survey of…… [Read More]
In effect, because males became the model subjects for their experiments, male development was considered the normative kind of human development than those of women's. As the author contends, psychology and empirical studies about humans "have tended to regard male behavior as the 'norm' and female behavior as some kind of deviation from that norm...Thus, when women do not conform to the standards of psychological expectation, the conclusion has generally been that something is wrong with women."
Gilligan's arguments were echoed by Woolf's imaginative contemplation of the woman in the Elizabethan Age in "Shakespeare's Sister." Though composed many decades earlier than Gilligan's scientific inquiry into women subjugation, Woolf had provided a fairly accurate description of the life of women during her time in the context of the Shakespeare's society. Using the character of Judith, whom Woolf purported as the great playwright Shakespeare's sister, the author remarked how women were generally…… [Read More]
Most of the story revolves around a day of a woman's preparation for a party. The preparation of such an event provides a glimpse into the lifestyle of the upper-middle class that the main character is a member of. The lifestyle appears to be somewhat superficial to many readers however the story also involves various political and cultural changes that Britain is experiencing at the time. The country is struggling with a shifting political power structure from one that is highly concentrated to one that is more populist in nature. The bourgeoisie or middle class is gaining more power in the political system which is upsetting the traditional social structure that is portrayed in the novel. Woolf's dislike of the lower classes was illustrated through her protagonist behavior towards the characters in the novel who belong in the inferior class.
Woolf was increasingly concerned with the position of women in…… [Read More]
Literary Analysis Research Paper
Mrs. Dalloway is a novel written by Virginia Woolf. It was published in 1925. The book highlights various issues in life such as love, death, social status, and mental illness. Woolf also condenses the story of Clarissa into a single day comprising of past experiences and events (Latham 64). This paper will focus on the literacy aspects present in Mrs. Dalloway. Namely, setting, character, and themes.
The setting of Mrs. Dalloway is London in early 1923 after World War 1. The whole story takes place over one day in June with many flashbacks to Mrs. Dalloway youth in the 1980s. Each of the settings – London, after the war, and a day in June is analyzed as follows:
The story takes place in London. Woolf mentions London’s iconic landmarks such as Trafalgar Square, Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, and the Houses of…… [Read More]
Shakespeare's Sister," and Maxine Hong Kingston's story, "No Name oman," reveal the theme of silencing women within literature, resurrection by the female author, while the lives of the authors' provide a dramatic contrast to the suppression of women depicted in their works. Ultimately, female writers like Hong Kingston are the fulfillment of oolf's dream for Shakespeare's sister, and represent the death of the tradition of silencing women's voices within the estern world.
The Silencing of omen Depicted in oolf and Hong Kingston
oolf's essay, "Shakespeare's Sister" is a clear portrait of the silencing of women by larger society. ithin "Shakespeare's Sister," Virginia oolf describes the fictional life of Judith, the sister of Shakespeare. She begins this analysis by noting the lack of women's presence in either history books or within literature. rites oolf, "what I find deplorable, I continued, looking about the bookshelves again, is that nothing is known about…… [Read More]
Virginia Woolf and Her Works as Mediums of Feminism
Virginia Woolf was among the rare writers who have put their talents and ideologies into writings, particularly as a patron of equality to women. Considered as one of the founders of feminism, there were quite a number of literary works that show Woolf's passion for promoting feminism. Some of this includes the following literary masterpieces.
To the Lighthouse
A Room on One's Own (1929)
Three Guineas (1938)
Women and Fiction (1929)
Professions for Women (1929)
Much of Woolf's literatures depicted her strict criticism on how the society put little importance to the female gender. Also, she showed in the context of her works how prominent the female gender can play important roles in the society, both socially and politically. Much of Woolf's works have in fact depicted political thoughts that have endeared the hearts and minds of many readers.
The information…… [Read More]
In "A Room of One's Own," Virginia oolf argues that writing is a means by which women can empower themselves, and in so doing, subvert patriarchy. oolf uses symbolism throughout the essay, namely in the central concept of a room. A room, or a physical space, provides the power of place from which to launch probing inquiry and social commentary. Rather than dwell inside the confines of a patriarchal, pre-defined social space, the woman creates a room of her own. This room is both a public and a private sphere; it is a room in the sense of having one's privacy. It is also a room to speak in a public forum, which oolf does when she delivers the essay. oolf speaks on behalf of all women, which is one of her rhetorical strategies. Specific literary techniques other than symbolism, such as irony, add depth to oolf's argument.…… [Read More]
Virginia Woolf knew there were deaths visible to the public and deaths that occurred deep within one's heart and mind to which no one else is witness. The Victorian period was an incubator for the private death of every woman's thoughts and ideas. Woolf laments, "There is no woman in the Cabinet; nor in any responsible post. All the idea makers who are in a position to make ideas effective are men…Why not bury the head in the pillow, plug the ears, and cease this futile activity of idea-making?" (1Thoughts on Peace in an Air Raid).
In her essay Evening Over Essex: Reflections in a Motor Car, Woolf captured the sequence that kept repeating in her life -- a sequence all too common during the period in which Woolf lived: "Also there was disappearance and the death of the individual. The vanishing road and the window lit for a second…… [Read More]
Fleeing the Big Bad Wolf:
Martha's Fear of Female Power in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf
Edward Albee's play Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf exposes the underbelly of a dysfunctional marriage that has reached the point of viciousness. George and Martha, the two main characters, are crippled with disappointment, both with themselves and with each other. Martha in particular has reached a point of utter despair, though it often masquerades as a boozy swagger. As the play reaches its climax, we find that Martha's despair is in fact fear -- fear of falling short of traditional femininity, fear of being trapped by traditional femininity, and fear most of all of the sad truth that hides beneath the veneer of her womanhood.
This fear is hinted at in the very title of the play. The title comes from a joke told at a faculty party at the college where…… [Read More]
Virginia Woolf, the author focuses her attention on a number of scenes to bring home a central idea to her reader. Through her considerations of people, insects, and a variety of other elements Ms. Woolf considers the deeper meanings of life and the various meanings it might have for individuals and the collective of humanity. By a variety of essays that range from the death of a simple moth at a window to the complex writings of Horace Walpole, Virginia Woolf appears to contemplate the many ways in which life might make itself meaningful via death, perpetual pain, and creativity.
Virginia Woolf's interpretation of death as life's ultimate purpose in its simplest form is provided in "The Death of the Moth." The author describes a moth that flies "by day," which is caught at a window. She also describes night moths as somewhat pleasantly exciting a sense of darkness, which…… [Read More]
Ultimately, Mrs. Dalloway's opinion of herself is highest when she is giving parties. Woolf writes, "Every time she gave a party she had this feeling of being something not herself, and that every one was unreal in one way; much more real in another" (Woolf 171). She knows she has a gift for bringing people together, and it is this gift that makes her life worthwhile. It is odd, because the entire reason for her being (at least to her) is superficial and another jab at English society by Woolf. The parties are the grounds for the wealthy to socialize and show off, while they are attended by the low-paid servants, the poor who form the backbone of English society. Ultimately, the novel condemns this society, and Clarissa Dalloway's simple character is at the forefront of this condemnation. Her simplicity and reliance on pleasing others represents all that is wrong…… [Read More]
Afraid of Virginia Woolf' by Edward Albee
This is a paper on the play 'Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf' by Edward Albee.
A three-part theater play, 'Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf' by Edward Albee presents a typical insight on the disturbed and somewhat revengeful life of a married couple, George and Martha. The era when the play was first performed is that of the late 1950s, a period dominated by a loving American President (D.Eisenhower), and good family values were considered as well as emphasized at all levels including American politics and culture. Thus, having a car, owning a house, and having kids were all deemed to present symbols of a perfectly happy family. In spite of all these aspects, there were events in the lives of people, which more often not than remained hidden, and the subject play strives to highlight those hidden feelings, and characteristics of people who…… [Read More]
Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Classic tragedies possess tragic heroes and cataclysmic endings. Otherwise strong and potentially great leaders fall prey to human character flaws such as hubris. In a true tragedy, the protagonist does not emerge victorious, but rather, typically brings about their own and others' downfalls. Tragic heroes squander their personal power and usually learn from their mistakes, but moments too late. Classical tragedies rarely have more than a smidgen of comic relief and are typically devoid of lighter moments. Comedies, on the other hand, can include tragic elements and remain comedies. So-called "black" comedies include elements of the tragic and the funny. Through farce, the themes of the drama are imparted powerfully. Edward Albee's play Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf is therefore an example of a comedy, not a tragedy. The play's protagonist, George, is no tragic hero, and nor is his wife Martha. Unlike classic heroes like…… [Read More]
Orlando: A Biography, Virginia oolf urges her readers to reconsider traditionally accepted constructions of sexuality and gender. oolf achieves this through a biographical narrative of a man who experiences the true meaning of masculinity and femininity only after he is transformed into a woman. In addition, oolf succeeds in debunking socially constructed definitions of sexuality and gender by virtue of situating the action in the novel over a period of 400 years. By doing so, oolf asserts a universal law of Nature, namely, that essential human nature has always been androgynous, or comprising of both masculine and feminine traits.
In fact, oolf's very introduction of Orlando, more than hints of his feminine traits. Orlando's biographer begins by stating "there could be no doubt of his sex," (p. 13) yet goes on to "admit that he had eyes like drenched violets."(p. 15) Significantly, Orlando's biographer also emphasizes on Orlando's marked love…… [Read More]
Writing must feel truthful, but go beyond a shopping list, and the key to creating that sense of truth is character, either in fiction portraying a compelling character, or in nonfiction creating a compelling authorial voice with whom the reader to identify. Dull writing is dangerous, writing that turns a person off of literature, and turns the reader off of connecting with other people's ideas that seem unfamiliar, or worse, trite. Writing should make the unfamiliar feel familiar, and the familiar seem new. The ultimate responsibility of every artist is not to bore, and to tell the truth -- this lesson is learned through the writer's own positive and negative experiences in life and literature, which hopefully inspire the author to take readers out of the prisons of their own consciousness for a moment, and to see the world through the eyes of another, anew… [Read More]
Clarissa in "Mrs. Dalloway" by Virginia Woolf
Mrs. Dalloway" by Virginia Woolf is a novel that chronicles the life of Clarissa Dalloway, a woman torn between preserving her own identity and maintaining the image that she wants to present to the public. Through different characters in the novel, particularly Peter Walsh's character, Clarissa's character is given depth, and as the novel progresses, the readers' perception of Clarissa changes, from being an irresolute woman to being a determined one as the novel ends. The following texts discuss Clarissa Dalloway's transition from her dual self-perception and concept of herself as a woman and the woman and individual she has become upon learning of Septimus Smith.
In the initial phase of Clarissa Dalloway's character presentation in the novel, she is characterized as a woman confused of what she really is, what she stands for in the midst of a high-class English society. At…… [Read More]
In her novel "Mrs. Dalloway," Virginia Woolf demonstrated a distinctly modern style as she revealed the dynamics of perception rather than simply writing another "conventional" story, like many other writers of her time. Michael Cunningham, in a tribute to Wolff, took her story and modified her modern style with his own unique writing in "The Hours."
Cunningham played with Woolf's writing styles in his novel, intensifying her clever style. For example, Woolf had an unusual method of making her characters experience backward launches of memories, which were usually sparked by some type of image. In addition, she would jumble time and place to show her readers the reality of human consciousness and experience. Cunningham mimicked her style in "The Hours" yet added to the excitement with his postmodern styles. Therefore, while Woolf's plot was simple, Cunningham's was decidedly complex.
In his introductory statement, Cunningham discusses Woolf, hinting that she…… [Read More]
Early in the play, George says "I am preoccupied with history" (Albee 50). George is a humanities professor, but Albee is saying more than that, as the couple's story shows as the play continues. Both characters are products of their childhood, and have never really matured from their childhood, which is why they act like children in their marriage. George has guilt about his parents, and makes up stories about sons who try to kill their parents. Martha was a "daddy's girl" who wanted unconditional love from her father and wanted it from George too. They disappoint each other, and they disappoint themselves. They grew up not feeling strong and good about themselves, and they have carried these feelings into their marriage and their adult lives, when they should be mature enough to leave these childish feelings behind. Albee shows that even though adults marry, they may not be truly…… [Read More]
Room of One's Own by Virginia Woolf is based upon lectures that the author has given in 1928 at a women's college at Cambridge University. Woolf here gives her thoughts on the question of women and fiction. The work is approached from the point-of-view of a first-person female narrator who researches the history of women and the things that they have written.
n this way the unique position of women in the art of writing is illuminated through a consideration of society and economy. Women during the centuries prior to 1928 were seldom given the opportunity to develop intellectually. They were in fact actively discouraged from such activities in favor of more "womanly" pursuits such as child rearing and housekeeping. This left the female gender with little time in which to write or even to think significant thoughts, despite whatever natural intelligence they may have been endowed with.
This is…… [Read More]
Woolf / Women in Violence and War
The current paper deals with the use of stream of consciousness and narrative technique by Virginia Wolf. The author has discussed how Woolf comes and goes in time and space to reveal her inside feelings, and why she used them especially in time of war and domestic violence.
Much has been written about Woolf's use of the stream-of-consciousness technique used widely by other Modernist writers of her time such as DH Lawrance and James Joyce. Stream of Consciousness is the technique use by Woolf and she is considered the pioneer of this technique. The stream of thought was first proposed by William James, Harvard Professor of Psychology in 1890.
In a diary entry that Woolf wrote on the 23 of February in 1926, she compares the writing process she went through while writing Mrs. Dalloway with the process she experienced while writing…… [Read More]
She was immensely charming. She was utterly unselfish. She excelled in the difficult arts of family life. She sacrificed herself daily." These language parallels anchor the audience's attention and stress oolf's underlying feminist message. In addition to language parallels, oolf also uses brilliant imagery and symbolism throughout the speech to convey the central ideas.
One of the main motifs in the speech is that of the Angel in the House. The Angel in the House symbolizes the suppression of women and their perpetual oppression by men. The angel comes to life in oolf's speech, as she describes, "she slipped behind me and whispered: 'My dear, you are a young woman. You are writing about a book that has been written by a man. Be sympathetic; be tender; flatter; deceive; use all the arts and wiles of our sex. Never let anybody guess that you have a mind of your own.…… [Read More]
Again, oolf's sarcasm rears its head here, as she unpacks the idea
that men should be so preoccupied in shaping an image of women that
conforms to the circumstances which a patriarchal society has manifested.
In this regard, there is a damning economic symbiosis between the real
subjugation of women and the images conjured of the fairer sex by their
alleged admirers. oolf demonstrates the woman of fiction and the woman of
this point in history as both being concocted of male desires, ambitions
and materialist conceits. Here, monetary wealth is tantamount to sexual,
marital and intellectual subjugation.
From the perspective of her time and place, oolf sees something
irreconcilable in the conditions facing women, especially in the quest to
express themselves with literary honesty and accuracy. Today, there is
continued relevance to this idea as women still grapple for equal pay in
various lines of profession, where they…… [Read More]
Men are perceived based on how they behave and present themselves, and not on how they think. Likewise, women are viewed in a similar light. In order to gain insight into how or why each sex behaves as they do, one must analyze each sex and determine what motivates each sex to behave and think as they do.
It has been theorized that oolf did not mean to insinuate that writers should write from a masculine or feminine perspective, but rather write in a manner that is devoid of sex (right). By eliminating sex from the creative process, one is able to write without a specified target audience, but rather for the masses, regardless of gender or age. The inequalities that have existed between men and women have been brought to the forefront of the Suffrage movement that not only brought to light the differences, but also created social tension.…… [Read More]
Virginia Woolf’s novel Mrs. Dalloway contains many of the hallmarks of the author’s style and thematic concerns, including a critique of gender roles and concepts of mental illness. Protagonist Clarissa, the eponymous Mrs. Dalloway, reflects on the trajectory of her life. Self-reflection is a lens through which she develops a cogent critique of the entire social system in which she lives. Clarissa’s reflections, catalyzed by her observations of men and women in her social circle, comprise a pessimistic point of view. Septimus’s suicide then highlights the fact that there is no way out of the patriarchal structure; there are only ways of coping with its immutable power. In Mrs. Dalloway, Woolf employs Clarissa as a vehicle for critiquing patriarchy and all it entails: including class-based social hierarchies, gender bias, and heteronormativity.
In Mrs. Dalloway, one of the themes is the way patriarchy constrains the organic evolution of relationships. Clarissa has…… [Read More]
This full spectrum of relationships implies that fully-functioning and developed societies can form around these relationships, and that they are not dependent upon male relationships whatsoever. The strength of the females in the Color Purple culminates in such an organization of their community; and, we are led to believe, that this particular community possesses the capacity to satisfy the women's physical and spiritual needs far better than any male-dominated society could offer.
oolf does not make this same contention in "The New Dress." Although it could be argued, from her other works, that she might possibly agree with such an ultimate organization of female society, "The New Dress" seems to focus more upon the inadequacies of social communication in general, irrespective of gender. This is not to say that gender is not a concern in the story, merely that the overall organization of the society that Mabel finds herself in…… [Read More]
Johnson repeated the phase two hundred years later of women preaching (Woolf 774).
Were Woolf to unequivocally state, "Men used to think that women can't act or speak," and then moved on to her next thought, then we hardly would be convinced by her argument. In order to be fully convinced, we rely on that traditional rhetorical supplement known as quotation.
The invention of a talented sister for Shakespeare is one of Woolf's greatest rhetorical inventions. Judith Shakespeare becomes a metaphor not merely for the role of woman in society during Shakespeare's time, but for the plight of all women in general, and all women artists in particular - including, in both categories, Woolf herself.
Finally, the tone of Woolf's essay sweeps us up into her argument from the very beginning and forces us to engage with the issues at hand. Woolf's tone is established at the conclusion of the…… [Read More]
During one of her mental breakdowns, Margery said she was visited by Jesus who said, "My daughter, why have you left me, when I never for one moment went away from you?" Unlike the religious writings of Julian, Margery wrote of everyday activities and events. She included accounts of her trips, marriage and gatherings with notable people.
The tale of "Shakespeare's sister" that Woolf tells in "A oom of One's Own" relates to the Middle Ages and enaissance and the status of women and the barriers they faced due to the stereotypes about their gender. Ironically, the world had not changed much in this regard when Woolf wrote. She had foreseen the reaction to "A oom of One's Own" and said in her diary: "I forecast, then, that I shall get no criticism, except of the evasive jocular kind... that the press will be kind & talk of its charm,…… [Read More]
She gives an open invitation to ponder, a food for thought to her readers by questioning them: "Why did men drink wine and women water? Why was one sex so prosperous and the other so poor? What effect has poverty on fiction? What conditions are necessary for the creation of works of art?" These lines could be termed as the jist of her essay, plainly put, they cover her scrutiny, as she uses various styles and approaches to explain and weigh the reasons of women's creative inabilities.
Woolf's style however, switching-in and switching-out in her own playful way creates suavity and humor entwined together but not overlooking the pleasure of reading a fluid prose. Also added to the package is loaded sarcasm letting her readers plunge into deeper waters for better understanding of the implications impressed upon women, keeping them from impressing their mark in creative writing show ground. "if…… [Read More]
At the beginning of E.M. Forster's book A Room with a View, the inn's guest Mr. Emerson states: "I have a view, I have a view. . . . This is my son . . . his name's George. He has a view, too." On the most basic level, this statement is just as it appears: Mr. Emerson is talking about what he sees outside of his window. However, the comment also suggests one of the major themes of this book, as well as another early 20th-century novel, Jacob's Room, by Virginia oolf: That is, the view one social class has of another. These books by Forster and oolf described the times in socio-economic terms as well as how the characters related to them.
Forster's novel A Room with a View details the happenstance of the young middle-class Englishwoman Lucy Honeychurch in the early 1900s on a visit…… [Read More]
Her affairs with Rodolphe and Leon bring her the type of intimacy she longs for even though they cause her much pain. Emma saw her affair with Rodolphe as vengeful because so much of her life felt like it was void of love. e are that she was "becoming a part of her own imaginings, finding the long dream of her youth come true as she surveyed herself in that amorous role she coveted" (Flaubert 175). She did not feel guilt; in fact, she "savored" (175) her relationship with Rodolphe and was without "remorse, disquiet or distress" (175). Emma is overwhelmed with emotions when it comes to Rodolphe and she did not know if she "regretted yielding to him, or whether she didn't rather to aspire to love him more . . . It was not an attachment but a continual excitement" (183). Here we see that she is not…… [Read More]
An excellent example of a key component in the sexual identity of a woman is the compulsion to get married which most women (particularly during Woolf's day) are bound to experience.
Orlando feels this sentiment as well, which the following quotation demonstrates. Everyone is mated except myself,' she mused, as she trailed disconsolately across the courtyard… I, 'am single, am mateless, am alone.' Such thoughts had never entered her head before. Now they bore her down unescapably (Orlando 1928).
It is noteworthy to mention that this passage precedes Orlando's relationship with Shel. Yet it is highly indicative of the sort of responsibility that most women feel -- that at some point in their lives they are obligated to get married to someone. The weight of these thoughts leads Orlando to feel "disconsolately" and "unescapably" burdened by them. This is one particular instance in which Woolf is actually demonstrating a similarity…… [Read More]
hen conducting an ideological critique, the researcher must be concerned with the way ideology is evidenced (or repressed) in the artifact, and a useful concept for identifying these "traces of ideology" is the notion of the ideograph, or the "political language which manifests ideology," which, according to Michael McGee, is "characterized by slogans" (Foss 248, McGee 5). McGee argues "that ideology in practice is a political language, preserved in rhetorical documents," and as such, can be identified in rhetorical artifacts via the "vocabulary of ideographs" frequently deployed in speech. Here it is important to note the importance of context, because in general McGee identifies ideographs as particular words, but one need not view these specific words as eternally and always ideographs; that is to say, these specific words may be identified as ideographs "by the usage of such terms in specifically rhetorical discourse, for such usage constitute excuses for specific…… [Read More]
Similarly central to Woolf's aesthetic is the tension between the individual's public personae and his or her 'private' self. Through a range of biographical, autobiographical, and fictional strategies, Woolf explore the extent to which the private self can be conceptualised as a fixed, unitary, and bounded identity. ("eflections on the Self," Page 44)
The looking-glass or mirror represents, in a way, the self, and it also is a device by which the self can be explored and articulated. The voice of the narrator is one that is blended. The narrator is both the narrator and the character that is being described. The narrator is also the voice of the author. The blending of these voices into one voice, not always necessarily coherent and smooth, is a technique that underscores the content and the themes of "The Lady in the Looking-Glass: A eflection." eflection upon one's life is not always positive,…… [Read More]
One of the primary ways the Berger chooses to explain this concept to his readers is through detailing the objectification of women, particularly in paintings. The male principles of power and authority have the propensity for viewing women as objects (some of lust, others of beauty, still others of reference). omen, in turn, internalize this sort of perception and come to view their own authority and power as attributable to their status as such objects viewed by men and by others. Therefore, women's perception of the sight of themselves has a duality in the fact that it is both their own viewing of themselves and also incorporates the viewpoint that others, such as men, may have for themselves. Berger suggests this notion within the following quotation. "The surveyor of woman in herself is male: the surveyed female. Thus she turns herself into an object -- and most particularly an object…… [Read More]
Ramsay's actions and words towards James about this matter are "caustic," and "dashed" his son's aspirations for going to the lighthouse. However, Mrs. Ramsay takes care to inspire the hopes of her son and to protect them, by stating that the following day's weather could actually involve the sun's "shining" and birds "singing," both of which are characteristics of permissible weather. The dichotomy of the perspectives presented by these characters is distinctly in alignment with traditional nurturing roles of mothers and disciplinary roles or those which prepare children for the vicissitudes of life that father's usually have. By presenting such a sharp distinction between the pair, oolf is subtly suggesting that a synthesis of these behaviors would allow for a true consummation of the totality of a person -- which is a concept explored within "A Room of One's Own."
Lastly, although the narration in "To the Lighthouse" is from…… [Read More]
Women in War and Violence
Women War and Violence
The purpose of this paper is to analyze the theory of being and becoming, and to discuss how this theory relates to war and violence in Virginia Woolf's portrayal of female characters in her novels. Being and becoming relates the theories of existence, and how one becomes and matures as an entity in society. It is evident throughout Woolf's lifetime that her character's evolve from simple creatures consumed with thoughts of darkness and death, that through a myriad of experiences with power, control, and pain they are able to transform their lives from simple existence into complex portrayals of beauty and lives that reflect the art of becoming human beings consumed with the beauty of all life has to offer.
To understand being and becoming, and how this relationship exists with regard to war and violence, and further with Woolf…… [Read More]
ichard Hughes: A High Wind in Jamaica
This story, the first novel by ichard Hughes, takes place in the 19th Century, and mixes the diverse subjects of humor, irony, satire, pirates, sexuality and children into a very interesting tale, with many sidebar stories tucked into the main theme.
The first part of the story has an eerily familiar ring and meteorological link with the December, 2004 tsunami-related disaster in Asia. In A High Wind, first there is an earthquake, then hurricane-force winds, followed by torrential rains (although no tidal wave) devastate the island and the British children who lived there are sent to England. However, on the way they are attacked by pirates and unwittingly kidnapped by those pirates. From there, the novel has a definite Lord of the Flies tone to it: the English children actually take over control of much of the activities on board, which is as…… [Read More]
omen and Gender Studies
Of all the technologies and cultural phenomena human beings have created, language, and particularly writing, is arguably the most powerful, because it is the means by which all human experience is expressed and ordered. As such, controlling who is allowed to write, and in a modern context, be published, is one of the most effective means of controlling society. This fact was painfully clear to women writers throughout history because women were frequently prohibited from receiving the same education as men, and as the struggle for gender equality began to read a critical mass near the end of the nineteenth century, control over women's access to education and writing became a central theme in a number of authors' works, whether they considered themselves feminists or not. In particular, Charlotte Perkins Gilman's 1892 story The Yellow allpaper features this theme prominently, and Virginia oolf's extended essay A…… [Read More]
Poverty is one of them.
Throughout the essay, Woolf discusses how inequitably women writers have been treated all through history, and how they have been made to feel unwelcome in those places that could be the most comforting. For example, she creates a character "who regretted in a low voice as he waved me back that ladies are only admitted to the library if accompanied by a Fellow of the College or furnished with a letter of introduction" (Woolf). Her inability to enter the library points out the inequity of men and women throughout history, but more importantly, it indicates why a "room of one's own" is so vital in the creative process. For many years, women writers were not welcome in the male dominated world of writing, and because of that, they were shut out from some of the most comfortable and comforting dwellings - libraries. Because of this,…… [Read More]
Doom in the luest Eye and the Voyage Out Doomed From the eginning:
The Inevitability of Death in the luest Eye and the Voyage Out Commonality is a funny thing. Who would suppose that a young, white twenty-four-year-old, turn of the twenty-first century, English lady might have a great deal in common with a young, adolescent, black American girl? This is exactly the case, however, between Virginia Woolf's main character, Rachel in The Voyage Out, and Toni Morrison's Pecola, in her work, The luest Eye.
Despite their differences in time, location, culture, and circumstance, the characters in the two novels share a common fate based on a common cause. oth characters begin life in unfortunate circumstances that foreshadow the inevitable doom that results from their respective positions in life.
Morrison's The luest Eye, opens with the words, "Here is the house."
It starts out innocently enough -- yet, even before…… [Read More]
women's places through the writing of British fiction. Using three classic examples of women's fiction in British literature the writer examines the overt and underlying relationship women have in the world and with society throughout the evolvement of literature. There were three sources used to complete this paper.
Throughout history authors have used their works to explore societal lessons. British literature is well-known for its ability to draw attention to moral, societal or other lessons by which the society reflects on the changes it experiences. The role of females has been a favorite topic of British authors for many years, perhaps spurred on by the various class elements that society has experienced along the way. Three classic works of British fiction provide a blueprint of women's changing role in society by allowing for a time span within their measurement. Charlotte Bronte's, "Jane Eyre"; Virginia Woolf's, "A oom of One's Own";…… [Read More]
Literary realism, of course, focuses on the everyday cultural experience of everyday people who may, within their banal experience, do extraordinary things. The Postmodern movement, as a reaction to a number of 20th century trends, tends to be anti-establishment and looks for meanings hidden in the text, those meanings needing to be exposed and reflected through deconstructing that text (Perkins & Perkins, 2008).But what of the authors who tend to combine both genres -- those who are slightly anti-establishment, allow for deep contextual symbolism, but also find wonder in the everyday? Fortunately, that genre, and the combination of realism and postmodernism, has blossomed globally into a genre called magical realism. For the contemporary reader, magical realism is a genre in which magical, or some would say illogical, scenarios and events appear in a normal setting. The power of this genre seems to be the juxtaposition of the two elements --…… [Read More]
Authentic Representations of Self universal theme of transitional literature is the sacrifice of self. Many characters, within some of the greatest works of literature express longing as a main theme, as if they are living a life that is not quite what they had in mind. DH Lawrence, Virginia oolf, Beryl Bainbridge and Doris Lessing, all develop characters within their works that establish the idea of a denial of authenticity of self. The four works and the four characters which best describe this sort of sacrifice of self are: Lawrence's Paul Morel in Sons and Lovers, oolf's Clarissa Dalloway in Mrs. Dalloway, Lessing's Susan Rawlings in To Room Nineteen and Charlie from Bainbridge's Clap Hands, Here Comes Charlie.
Even from the start Paul Morel from Sons and Lovers was different. More delicate than other children and the expression of grief through depression that brought on tears is a foreshadowing of…… [Read More]
Daughters in literature requires a thorough analysis of gender roles and norms. The concept of daughter is directly linked to gender roles, as being a daughter entails specific social and familial responsibilities. Daughters' rights, roles, and responsibilities vis-a-vis their male siblings can therefore become a gendered lens, which is used to read literature. This is true even when the daughters in question are not protagonists. For example, Sonya in Fyodor Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment is not a protagonist but her supportive role has a tremendous impact on main character Rodion Romanovich Raskolnikov. Likewise, no one of King Lear's three daughters is the play's protagonist but they nevertheless propel the plot of the play and are central to its outcome. Virginia oolf's To the Lighthouse barely features any of the Ramsay daughters, and yet there are ample textual references to the role of daughters in families and correspondingly, the role of…… [Read More]
In his 1940 romantic comedy adaptation of Philip Barry's Broadway play, director George Cukor allows Katherine Hepburn, James Stewart and Cary Grant to light up the screen and carry the movie without confusing the audience with camera tricks and editing.
By using subtle camera techniques, Cukor introduces the main characters through action and relies on his star ensemble to paint the picture of their respective characters. The editing is fluid as well as the cinematography. Using such devices as off-screen dialogue, and cues, we follow Hepburn, a Philadelphia socialite as she attempts to marry another man, and avoid a tabloid hound.
Cinematically, this is typical of the movies Hollywood was making in the 1940s. This particular film went on to win a string of Oscars, including Best Picture, and Best Director. Cukor interplays the style of writing within his camera directions so as to allow for an enjoyable…… [Read More]
Universal Themes in Homer's The Odyssey
Homer's The Odyssey is an ancient work that has managed to survive up to the present time. Virginia Woolf argues that the themes and situations presented in The Odyssey are universal themes that all humans can relate to, despite the passing of time. A consideration of the themes and situations presented in The Odyssey will show that this is true. While The Odyssey is set in a different time and culture, the basic situations and struggles are ones that apply equally to all people. These themes and events include the struggle of being adolescent, the changing relationship between a mother and son, the process of a boy becoming a man and the changing relationship between family members as time passes. Each of these are universal themes and this is what makes The Odyssey as applicable to modern life as it was to ancient life.…… [Read More]
These young men were not immersed in the high modernist traditions of Virginia Woolf and T.S. Eliot: rather, they were immersed in the experience of war and their own visceral response to the horrors they witnessed.
Thus a multifaceted, rather than strictly comparative approach might be the most illuminating way to study this period of history and literature. Cross-cultural, comparative literary analysis is always imperfect, particularly given the linguistic challenges presented by evaluating German poetry in relation to its British counterparts. Contextualizing the British war poets requires a certain level of understanding how the war was seen by the other side, and by alien eyes. More is likely to be gained than lost by reading the German war poets in translation. Yet reading the German poets in translation allows the reader to appreciate the influence of symbolism and expressionism in their work that was not present even in the harsh…… [Read More]
Madness in Women
In most of the novels and the works in consideration we see the struggle for expression and the quest to overcome masculine oppression (on the part of the author) finds expression as a deteriorating mental state of the character.
Largely guided by their urge to break off from the shackles of the society and the pining for the freedom that has been sadly denied to them, women exhibit a kind of madness in their effort to restore the balance. This is fairly obvious from the many literary works created by women. These works invariably depict the quest for freedom and very often they end up as the lamenting tones of a deranged personality. In most of the novels and the works in consideration we see the struggle for expression and the quest to overcome masculine oppression (on the part of the author) is expressed as a deteriorating…… [Read More]
Ultimately Judith Shakespeare, (like Hedda Gabler) according to Virginia oolf, would have very likely taken her own life (1382). Although life today is still far from perfect for many women in many areas of the world, and while some women (in various poorer parts of Africa, Latin America, and Asia, for example) face many of the same attitudes and obstacles Judith Shakespeare would have faced, women in the United States, Europe, and many other areas today are infinitely freer than Virginia oolf's Judith Shakespeare would have been to pursue artistic (or other careers); support themselves while doing so; and to avoid unwanted pregnancies and childbirths.
Henrik Ibsen, Kate Chopin, and Virginia oolf, all writing in either the late 19th or early 20th centuries, all depict, within the works I have discussed, various strictures and limitations on the lives and aspirations of women during those times. For today's women, there are…… [Read More]
Women winning the right to vote, far too long after the founding of America, was of course an important 'first step' in ensuring that women become full participants in the American experiment. But understanding the subtle cultural discrimination, as manifest in John Adams' treatment of his wife, and the subsidiary complaints of Stanton, Wollstonecraft, and Woolf also demonstrate that simply passing a law is not enough to change the rights of women. Women have been treated as children, and also viewed as incapable of truly realizing their dreams because of their capacity to be mothers. This has remained unchanged in the cultural discourse and memory in a way that affects all of our perceptions, male and female, and unless we remember this, we may be too easily seduced by the achievements, however remarkable, of a few talented women who have been able to chip away at the 'glass ceiling.'
Part…… [Read More]
Interconnected Life is worth living -- suicide, art, and the surprises of the Hours
She is going to die. That much is certain -- Virginia oolf is one of the most famous suicidal authors in all of modern and modernist literature. But even when one knows this terrible fact, one cannot help but ask how, and why as her story unfolds before one's ears and eyes. The structure of The Hours also forces one to ask, what are the connections between oolf and the other people, past and present, that pay homage to this great artist's literary works over the course of the narrative? For The Hours not only encompasses oolf's biography and literary works, but other, less famous women who look to oolf for inspiration and guidance. Long after the author herself is dead, she lives on in her work's themes of the connected nature of all humanity and…… [Read More]
And while Clarissa is not repulsed at all by her reflection in the window, Mrs. oolf is another story, as far as how she sees herself. "She does not look directly into the oval mirror that hangs above the basin...she does not permit herself to look." The mirror, to Mrs. oolf, "is dangerous; it sometimes shows her the dark manifestation of air that matches her body, takes her form but stands behind... [and] she washes her face and does not look..."
Virginia oolf, in her husband's eye, is "pale and tall, startling as a Rembrandt...she has aged dramatically, just this year, as if a layer of air has leaked out from under her skin. She's grown craggy and worn...suddenly no longer beautiful." Not only has Virginia lost her loveliness, she is joined by the devil.
There is evil living within a brilliant mind, the ultimate juxtaposition that defines a…… [Read More]
Gender and Culture
Gender is an important and essential construct in human beings. Throughout generations gender has remained central to the family unit. Normative conditions have always dictated perceptions and expectation with respect to the masculinity of men and femininity of women. Authors like Butler have argued that gender is not an automatic or mechanical construct and that gender authoring should be acceptable and normal. Factually speaking gender is a huge aspect of life that determines how people are recognized and accepted. In the film Zerophilia, Luke struggles with identity due to his condition that allows him to switch between genders after an orgasm. Borrowing from the Film, any unique gender construct will inevitably cause a lot of confusion and possibly affect the life of the victim negatively. This discourse analyzes the different perspectives concerning gender from Butler, Woolf and Horney. It will be deduced that gender fundamentally influences the…… [Read More]