Virginia Woolfs Literary Themes Feminism And Unconventionality English Literature Essay

There are merely a few writers who are every bit renowned as Virginia Woolf. For she was one of the first writers of her clip to seek to interrupt the “ Victorian appreciation ” on literary plants and set imaginativeness in about every facet of literature. She besides was one of the few women’s rightists who stood up for the rights she should hold through her work. Yet in no manner was Virginia Woolf merely inspired by feminism. On the contrary many of her plants were besides influenced by the damaging consequences of conventionality that was blighting England at this clip period. It was through these constructs that Woolf talked of, at one point or another, about every societal or political job happening in her clip.

Born January 25, 1882, Virginia Woolf led an surprisingly ideal childhood. Bing the girl of two comfortable parents had its advantages, and Woolf took them ; for at the stamp age of nine, she opened herself to literature by composing her ain newspaper called the Hyde Park Gate News, a newspaper in which she either mocked her fellow siblings or stated the hebdomadal household personal businesss. Yet tragically, this ideal life ended when her female parent, half sister, and father all died in a 10 twelvemonth span. This non merely caused her to hold a nervous dislocation, but she fell into such a depression that it took old ages for her to acquire out of it. ; though when she did get the better of this calamity, she came back to the literary universe merely every bit all of a sudden as earlier. She started composing hebdomadal articles for the Times Literary Supplement, wrote several novels, and married Leonard Woolf ( a member of the Bloomsbury Group, which originated in Virginia ‘s house ) . From there the twosome founded the Hogerth Press and continued along their several literary roads. Yet she, subsequently in her life, started to doubt her ain saneness and suffered through another nervous dislocation, but this clip it led her to perpetrate self-destruction.

There is no uncertainty that Woolf left her grade on the literary universe but one of the largest of these would be that of her right to vote motion. She was an writer who, from the really beginning, could non grok as to why work forces and adult females were treated so otherwise and the latter so below the belt. Thus it was through this call of equality that Woolf started seting feminism into her literary plant ; which she did dramatically with the release of her novel The Room of One ‘s Own. Originally two different essays, The Room of One ‘s Own had been presented to several groups of college adult females, who were forbidden to come in universities in England because of their sex. She used this novel to oppugn the policies in England that were being upheld to denounce female rights. This easy being seen where she explains the dinner given to female pupil as, “ ‘a field gravy soup ‘ ” ; the chief class as a “ ‘homely three ‘ ” of beef, leafy vegetables, and murphies ; the desert as prunes and custard, the prunes “ ‘stringy as a miser ‘s bosom, ‘ ” ( Bowers 1 ) so later speaking of how epicurean the dinner that was served to the male pupils was. Yet Woolf does n’t needfully reprobate universities for handling adult females below the belt ; the ground for this being that the adult females colleges are missing merely because adult females themselves are missing money. For how are they supposed to gain money for an instruction when they are non equally decently paid or even employed? Therefore Woolf condemns the male sex for destructing the independency that should hold been given to females, yet her choler is, ironically, besides felt by her ain gender:

At the idea of all those adult females working twelvemonth after twelvemonth and happening it difficult to acquire two thousand lbs together and every bit much as they could make to acquire 30 thousand lbs, we burst out in contempt at the condemnable poorness of our sex. What had our female parents been making so that they had no wealth to go forth us? Powderizing their olfactory organs? Looking in store Windowss? ( Moss 360 )

Here Woolf non merely inquiries her state for leting such favoritism to happen but besides the female parents who are “ supposed to ” assist their girls be educated and prosper in this universe, but Woolf subsequently states that it is non that adult females are lazy or unwilling to work it ‘s because they are ne’er given the chance to work.

“ If truth is non to be found on the shelves of the British Museum, where, I asked myself, picking up a notebook and a pencil, is truth? “ ( Moss 360 ) . This is one of the several inquiries Woolf inquiries herself while she wonders across the British Museum to seek for any scientific cogent evidence as to why adult females are inferior to work forces and comes across a fabricated illustration of Professor von X ‘s The Mental, Moral, and Physical Inferiority of the Female Sex. Here, one time once more, Woolf mocks the male Hagiographas where adult females are “ proved ” to be inferior on “ facts ” that are improbably biased and undependable. Thus she inquiries “ the societal forces that keep adult females financially impoverished, from inheriting power, prestigiousness, easiness, and instruction ” ( Moss 360 ) .

Probably one of Woolf ‘s biggest presentations of feminism in The Room of One ‘s Own was her fabricated illustration of Judith Shakespeare, the every bit gifted sister of William Shakespeare. Yet due to her gender Judith is repressed and unlike her brother is stopped from composing. This unfortunately leads her to perpetrate self-destruction. Through Judith, Woolf explains to the universe how the devastation of adult females ( adult females authors particularly ) is happening, because it is n’t that females lack talent, as shown by Judith, but that they are ne’er allowed any chances to show them.

While A Room of One ‘s Own is Woolf ‘s major novel on feminism, this subject is shown throughout about all of her novels, and To the Lighthouse is no exclusion. Two of the novels largest characters are adult females who are the exact antonyms. One of them being Lily Briscoe ; a adult females who rejects Victorian conventions and decides to stay individual in order to non compromise herself to the “ dominant male society ” ; and the other being Mrs. Ramsey ; a adult females who realizes that society is highly prejudice against the female sex but is willing to lazily watch and make nil about it. It is through Mrs. Ramsey that Woolf tries to demo the jobs that are non merely within society but besides within adult females who are unwilling to halt these unfairnesss, and through Lily the freedom and independency adult females could hold.

Woolf shows through Mrs. Ramsey that there are adult females who are leting such favoritism to happen by volitionally doing themselves seem less intelligent. In To the Lighthouse, Mrs. Ramsey does that same exact thing in order to do her hubby experience more dominant but by making so Woolf suggests that she besides ends up destructing her individualism. This can easy be seen where in one scene she regrets that her deficiency of instructions prevents her from fall ining into conversation about political relations, scientific discipline, math, and literature ( Picker 2 ) . Then subsequently in another scene when some of the invitees go outside to watch the moving ridges, “ Immediately, for no ground at all, Mrs. Ramsey became like a miss of 20, full of merriment ” ( Picker 2 ) . Even though she longs to travel outside she refuses to make so in order to remain and be the devoted married woman to her hubby. Here Woolf shows how many adult females refuse to give themselves the slightest of pleasances without inquiring permission from their hubbies foremost, and therefore they force upon themselves an about child-like dependence.

In To the Lighthouse, Woolf shows the universe that two extremes like Mrs. Ramsey and Mr. Ramsey could ne’er work successfully. She represents Mrs. Ramsey as the “ strictly feminine ” who will make whatever her hubby desires of her and Mr. Ramsey as the “ strictly masculine ” ( Picker 2 ) , but Woolf suggests that to be a comfortable gay sapien one has to hold traits from both. Thus Woolf creates the character of Lily who has both of these features by being the 1 who “ unites the rational and the inventive into the androgynous whole ” ( Picker 2 ) . She rejects Victorian conventions by declining to get married ; a ceremonial that would, unluckily, destroy any of the independency she had to that point. She besides refuses to maintain any type of relationships with work forces ( except that of friendly relationship ) in order to non “ compromise herself by either helping insecure menaˆ¦ or indulging the self-importance of overweening work forces ” ( Picker 2 ) .

Woolf ‘s other feministic novel, Orlando, tells the narrative of a fine-looking immature poet and author who finds himself one twenty-four hours transformed into a adult female. Here Woolf explains to the audience as to what freedoms that alteration destroys, because Orlando goes from being an independent and freethinking author into person who is denied the same privileges he one time had. So much in fact that in order to even keep belongings Orlando finds “ herself ” engaging a century long conflict. Thus it is through this novel that Woolf negotiations of the unfairnesss felt by adult females, because to Woolf, there are no basic differences between male and females except in the physical sense. When Orlando changed it was merely his physical being non his mental, so he was merely as intelligent and talented as before but alternatively as a adult females he was given secondary position in society and denied any establishment that could assist him hone his accomplishments.

While Orlando does expose the subject of feminism it besides displays one of the things that made Woolf so celebrated, her unconventionality. Woolf takes this novel and turns it into the unusual by exceeding what was considered the conventional novel. Since this novel was written as a slightly “ life ” it was expected to be, as lifes had been at this clip, to be a personal and intimate remembrance of his or her life yet Woolf alternatively used a technique called, the biographical third-person storyteller. Through this technique she allowed herself to “ perpetrate to the full with flights of notional description, ” ( Theodore 2 ) and speak frankly about Orlando ‘s private ideas and feelings. Though Orlando was alone, it was non needfully a novel that helped transform a new genre but alternatively it helped exceed barriers that were placed on inventive authorship.

Woolf ‘s experimental novel, Orlando was non about every bit acclaimed for its individualism as Woolf ‘s other novel, Mrs. Dalloway. Set in London, Mrs. Dalloway tells the narrative of two wholly unrelated chief characters, Clarissa Dalloway and Septimus Smith, who Woolf brings together through ideas instead than interaction. Woolf does this by utilizing the “ tunneling procedure, ” where she brings characters into the present without giving the reader any account as to why they are at that place. Stating that “ I dig out beautiful caves behind my characters, ” ( McFadden-Gerber 2 ) Woolf ne’er truly explains as to what the characters yesteryears were. All that is told is the present and the reader is therefore left to do his or her ain decision.

Woolf ne’er brings the characters together in the sense of physical contact but she does it by minutes. “ The sight of a auto, the sight and sound of a skywriting plane, a running kid, a adult female vocalizing, an omnibus, an ambulance, and the clock contact, ” ( McFadden-Gerber 3 ) are what articulation Clarissa and Septimus. One minute the reader will be following Clarissa and so with the sticking of the clock the reader will be shifted into Septimus ‘s consciousness, who would be hearing that same exact clock. Here Woolf experiments with passages because non one time in her novel does she utilize chapters to split the narrative alternatively Woolf wanted one fluxing motion so she did this by making “ symbolic chapters. ” Alternatively of words she would utilize sounds and minutes shared by both of the characters and if she was non altering characters she would bespeak the terminal of a chapter by a infinite. Furthermore her usage of the redstem storksbills besides signals the reader to the twenty-four hours ‘s advancement and the nearing of the decision intimations to the eventual terminal of life itself.

While Woolf does utilize shared experiences to unify the chief characters, it is non about every bit used a device as her creative activity of the similarity between Clarissa and Septimus. What Woolf does non explicate about one character she explains through a different character. Once once more demoing how unusual Mrs. Dalloway is, Woolf characterizes Clarrisa and Septimus as two halves of a whole. This shown be the fact that both are enduring from solitariness, experience guilty for their past lives, have homosexual feelings, contemplate self-destruction, and both want to stabilise their helter-skelter lives ( McFadden-Gerber 3 ) .

“ It is no usage seeking to sum people up. One must follow intimations, non precisely what is said nor yet wholly what is done ” ( Smelstor 3 ) . This is one of Woolf ‘s first sentences in Jacob ‘s Room and it shows absolutely as to what Woolf ‘s novelistic technique was while composing this novel. With Jacob ‘s Room came Woolf ‘s first “ novelistic experiment. ” She challenged the conventional thought by utilizing unfinished sentences, disjointed scenes, and watercourse of consciousness to convey ideas and emotions. Woolf, had up to this point, followed the way of most writers but with this novel came her drastic and lasting alteration, to the unconventional. Here she started experimenting with interior soliloquies and lyrical poetic devices which subsequently would be represented in about all of her literary plant. In Jacob ‘s Room, Woolf suggests that everything we experience and informant is seen unambiguously through different positions. Hence Woolf used this type of technique to show, propose, and imply ; non to denote. “ This is Virginia Woolf ‘s novelistic technique and her philosophical orientation. She whispers intimations ; she ne’er shouts announcements ” ( Smelstor 3 ) . Throughout the novel this is precisely what Woolf does ; she ever probes the reader to the “ right ” way but leaves the reader to his or her ain decision.

Virginia Woolf was, and wanted to be, a revolutionary. She despised conventional thought which destroyed the inventive procedure of all creative persons and authors. She despised the conventional thought that upheld the child-like dependence that was forced upon adult females and both of these subjects she displayed in her novels to state the universe as to how pathetic these barriers are. Woolf therefore suggested through these subjects that England needed a alteration ; for these limitations were non merely destructing adult females but besides the creativeness that was locked off in the human head. Woolf wanted freedom in every kernel of that word and therefore made it about a life ‘s intent to accomplish it. As stated in A Room of One ‘s Own:

Intellectual freedom depends upon material things. Poetry depends upon rational freedom, and adult females have ever been hapless, non for two hundred old ages simply, but from the beginning of clip. Womans have had less rational freedom than the boies of Athenian slavesaˆ¦That is why I have laid so much emphasis on money and a room of one ‘s ain. ( Moss 359 )