This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

The Relevance Of Gender In Society: A Research Paper On Virginia Woolf's Views On Gender Roles Using Three Of Her Books, "To The Lighthouse", "Mrs. Dalloway", And "A Room Of One's Own".

1976 words - 8 pages

Virginia Woolf was a master of modern writing. Through her literary genius, she developed a mountain of works that explored numerous ideas like the importance of time, love, and death. One theme that resounded throughout most, if not all, of her writings was the concept of gender. Whether Woolf was exploring the societal impact on gender or the idea that gender is irrelevant, one thing was clear; Woolf was obsessed with gender. She was a wonderful feminist writer who was confused by the roles women were forced to play in society. Her own confusion with sexuality played a huge part in her writing methods. "Different though the sexes are, they inter-mix. In every human being a vacillation from one sex to the other takes place, and often it is only the clothes that keep the male or female likeness, while underneath the sex is the very opposite of what it is above." (Virginia Woolf Quotes,http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/v/virginia_woolf.html). Through her characters, Woolf presented a menagerie of women who displayed such raw emotions that they seemed real. These characters dealt with gender in different ways. Some embraced their role as a woman in society while others shunned society's idea of women. No matter how she was presenting her characters, Woolf loved using them to explore the complexity she found within gender.Some of Woolf's ideas on gender corresponded with the great psychologist, Freud's views. Woolf was an avid reader of Freud, but it took her a long while to understand and agree with anything he developed. She did eventually agree with his ideas on gender. "For him [Freud], the acquisition of a gender identity was a totally psychological process" (Bland. J. Freud, The Father of Psychoanalysis). Mrs. Dalloway is bursting with Woolf's views on gender. The fact that Septimus was created to be a double of Clarissa Dalloway reinforces the idea that Woolf found gender to be irrelevant. On the outside, Clarissa and Septimus seem to have nothing in common, but on the inside, they are one and the same. "What a lark! What a plunge! ...she had burst open the French windows and plunged at Bourton into the open air." (Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway, 3). This is the first reference of a parallel between Clarissa and Septimus. Just as Septimus plunges to his death, Clarissa plunges into her monotonous life.In Mrs. Dalloway, Clarissa plays her role as a woman in society perfectly. She is a wonderful hostess and home maker on the outside. Inside she knows that there must be more to life, but she accepts her fate. "The leaden circles dissolved in the air. He made her feel the beauty; made her feel the fun. But she must go back. She must assemble." (Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway, 186). Through the death of her double, Clarissa is able to experience a hypothetical freedom. For a moment, she is released from society's hold and able to feel pleasure. That was enough to help her endure. Though Clarissa never breaks free of her societal chains, Woolf was not trying...

Find Another Essay On The Relevance of Gender In Society: A research paper on Virginia Woolf's views on gender roles using three of her books, "To the Lighthouse", "Mrs. Dalloway", and "A Room of One's Own".

Poetry in Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own

2536 words - 10 pages , something having unique value to the fully realized life, something we are better off for having and spiritually impoverished without" (517). Because mankind holds poetry in high regard, Virginia Woolf uses male versus female success in writing it as the basis of comparison in A Room of One's Own, her 1928 essay that examines the struggle of women for acceptance and esteem as writers. According to Woolf, rather than being drawn to the novel, "the

Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own Woolf writes about the struggles that women of her time faced in writing

781 words - 3 pages In the novel, A Room Of One's Own, by Virginia Woolf it seems implausible thatone could miss the theme behind her writing. Even just by reading the title, it is self-explanatory. In order for a woman to write fiction she must have money, and a room ofone's own. Woolf stresses this throughout the novel. She directly says "Intellectualfreedom depends upon material things. Poetry depends upon intellectual freedom. Andwomen have always been poor

Virginia Woolf's underlying attitute towards womens role in society based upon her detailed descriptions of the meals at a men and womens college in "A Room of One's Own"

720 words - 3 pages Virginia Woolf, acknowledged as one of the greatest female writers of her time, and ours, wrote two essays in which she attended the meals of a men's and women's university. In the first passage, Woolf describes an extravagant luncheon at a men's college, using long and flowing sentences to express the seamless opulence of the "many and various retinue[s]" displayed at the convention. On the other hand, in the second passage Woolf illustrates a

Gender Roles and Conflicts Expressed in Virginia Woolf's "To the Lighthouse"

2062 words - 8 pages them in disgust too. The protagonist, Lily Briscoe, struggles to be an artist in a society where women are expected only to be wives and mothers like Mrs. Ramsey is. The antagonist is Mrs. Ramsey. She is the perfect model of the old generation's value of a woman's position in society. It is here that Woolf centers her novel around the subtle distortions of which a strict division of gender roles produces on personalities and on family life. This

The Women's Anxiety Towards their Authorship - Virginia Woolf's "A Room of One's Own" and "Professions of Women"

1354 words - 5 pages authorship. Virginia Woolf frequently used the theme of gender inequality in her writings. This can particularly be seen in her work, "A Room of One's Own" and "Professions for Women".In Woolf's "A Room of One's Own", she depicts the struggle of women in the English society. She states that because these women are oppressed by male domination, hence the work that they produce is seen to be unimpressive that male writer's. Woolf invents Judith, an

The Importance of Time in Virginia Woolf's "Mrs Dalloway"

4027 words - 16 pages Virginia Woolf's Mrs Dalloway is a modernist novel, which shows new techniques to express a different point of view with regard to the notion of time. It is not without importance to note that the novel has no chapter headings. Nevertheless it is immediately obvious that the interest of the novel is not only in the form but also in the content. The action takes place in a single day of June in 1923 and what is interesting in the structure of the

Suspended in Time: Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway the element of time in a modernist novel

1963 words - 8 pages Suspended in Time:Virginia Woolf' Mrs. DallowayVirginia Woolf is forefront among modernist writers like T. S. Eliott and Joseph Conrad and is most notable for her stream-of-consciousness technique. Most critics cluster Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway with two of her own, Jacob's Room and To the Lighthouse as examples of a technique that represents a multi-narrative form. The result of this multi-point-of-view is a novel suspending time. Not only does time

Virginia Woolf's A Room of One’s Own

2627 words - 11 pages In Virginia Woolf’s feminist essay “A Room of One’s Own,” Woolf argues that “a woman must have money and a room of her own” (16) if she is to write fiction of any merit. The point as she develops it is a perceptive one, and far more layered and various in its implications than it might at first seem. But I wonder if perhaps Woolf did not really tap the full power of her thesis. She recognized the necessity of the writer’s financial

An Analysis of Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway

3394 words - 14 pages An Analysis of Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway Somewhere within the narrative of Mrs. Dalloway, there seems to lie what could be understood as a restatement - or, perhaps, a working out of - the essentially simple, key theme or motif found in Woolf's famous feminist essay A Room of One's Own. Mrs. Dalloway does in fact possess "a room of her own - " and enjoys an income (or the use of an income) that is at least "five hundred a year

Analysis of Similes in Virginia Woolf's To the Lighthouse

1953 words - 8 pages he notices their daughters' beauty or even the food on his plate, for he sits "at table like a person in a dream" (70). Woolf's animal similes underscore the roles of Victorian women and men: nurturer and patriarch. Society expected the Victorian woman to be virtuous, to be submissive, and to have one thing in mind: the needs of her family, especially the needs of male relatives. Woolf, in writing of Mrs. Ramsey, speaks of that woman's

Character of Mr. Ramsay in Virginia Woolf's To The Lighthouse

807 words - 3 pages The Character of Mr. Ramsay in To The Lighthouse       When reading novels, it is important to understand the aspects of each character to completely get the message that the author is trying to send to the reader.  In the novel, To The Lighthouse, Virginia Woolf illustrates the character, Mr. Ramsay as a husband and a father of eight.  As a husband, he mentally abuses his wife, Mrs. Ramsay, and as a father, Mr. Ramsay discourages and

Similar Essays

The Outsider In Virginia Woolf's A Room Of One's Own

762 words - 3 pages The Outsider in Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own In A Room of One's Own Virginia Woolf writes: "I had no wish to enter had I the right, and this time the verger might have stopped me, demanding perhaps my baptismal certificate, or a letter if introduction from the dean"(8). This particular line jumps out at me for several reasons. First off, I find it rather humorous. I was rather surprised by this remark as well. I did not think that I

Virginia Woolf's A Room Of One's Own

1651 words - 7 pages Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own Missing works cited In A Room of One's Own, Virginia Woolf ponders the plight of women throughout history. Woolf 'reads the lives of women and concludes that if a woman were to have written she would have had to overcome enormous circumstances' (Woolf xi). Woolf's initial thesis is that 'a woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction' (Woolf 4). Throughout the book, however

Commerce, Politics And The City In A Room Of One's Own And Mrs. Dalloway

2556 words - 10 pages on by the current elsewhere." (A Room of One's Own 100)   "Virginia Woolf" - the version of her that narrates the "events" of A Room of One's Own - observes the above urban scene from her window. In a pattern that she had perfected in Mrs. Dalloway four years earlier, the rhythms of urban existence are closely articulated with those of the natural world - and that rhythmic coordination in turn serves as a kind

Virginia Woolf's Narrative Technique In A Room Of One's Own

3382 words - 14 pages conditions come to bear on women's prose style. A Room of One's Own is Virginia Woolf's fictionalized response to a very factual request. "We asked you to speak about women and fiction - what has that got to do with a room of one's own?" Woolf asks, anticipating her audience's bewilderment at the title of her work. It has to do, she explains, with women writers' need for money and personal space. But it can only be properly explained through