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Feminism In To The Lighthouse Essay

3132 words - 13 pages

CONTENT:
* Abstract……………………………………………………pg 2
* Introduction……………………………………………..pg 3
* Feminism in TO THE LIGHTHOUSE…………….pg 4
* Conclusion………………………………………………..pg 11
* Bibliography……………………………………………..pg 12

ABSTRACT:

         Virginia Woolf is a feminist pioneer and is also a modern socialist master. In her masterpiece To the Lighthouse she uses large number of images to convey her feminist ideas. This Research paper focuses on To the Lighthouse with feminist perspective. How ‘To the Lighthouse’ projects its challenges or realization of productive and creative possibilities of female characters like Mrs. Ramsay, Lily Briscoe, Nancy Ramsay, and other characters who ...view middle of the document...

            
           M.H. Abrams includes Virginia Woolf in the Feministic criticism as far as her novel To the Lighthouse is concerned. Considering women’s ability and necessity in male-dominated society, he writes,

                  “An important precursor in Feminism was Virginia
                  Woolf… on the culture, economic, and educational
                  disability within what she called a ‘patriarchal’ 
                  society have hindered or prevented from realizing 
                  their productive and creative possibilities.”

When looking at To the Lighthouse we see the conventional usage of feminism's challenged. Woolf uses many different styles and techniques, and although the term feminist is never used within the novel, it clearly is a feminist text. Woolf's work challenges representation and treatment of women; and the social relationship between men and women, this is shown most poignantly within the novel To the Lighthouse. We intend to investigate the usage of feminist writing within this text.

TO THE LIGHTHOUSE AS FEMINISTIC TEXT
Generally speaking, the word ‘sex’ plays an essential role in defining the gender of a woman when she is put in the flow of Society’s stream of socialization. Newly published book, named ‘The Seven Commandments of Bhagavad Gita’ by J.P. Vaswani also goes against the idea of sex role in defining the gender of a woman. He mentions the first commandment from Bhagavad Gita, regarding Body Identification of a woman,

“Thou shalt not identify yourself with the body.”

            The existence of a woman is not supposed to identify by the physical appearance, but by the actions and thoughts also. There is no any suspicion in telling truth that ‘Sex’ is born identity whereas ‘Gender’ is coined identity by society in which a woman lives. It is imposed upon her to behave, to think and to play a female role in specific way.

            To commence with the idea of writing a novel by lady novelist (not female novelist) itself is a strong element in discussing these female characters. Virginia portraits female characters as a typical female, doing her household work, beguiling other family members what they would prefer to have and docile as a passive character, actively participating in what she is supposed to do. Mrs. Ramsay and Lily Briscoe are the two main female characters in the novel. Women, Mrs. Ramsay believes are there to care for others, marry people off and harmonize everyone. They are also there (shown within her inner monologue) to protect men, and to nurture their ego.
'She had the whole of the other sex under her protection; for
reasons she could not explain, for their chivalry and velour.'
(13. To the Lighthouse.)
To The Lighthouse is a novel that is fascinated by women, as the perspectives of Mrs. Ramsay and Lily are the most fully developed narratives within the text. Woolf's To the Lighthouse asks the question of the sexuality of women,...

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