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Virginia Woolf, A Room of One's Own & Orlando - Book Report/Review Example

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This book report tells about the great novelist Virginia Woolf and her A Room of One's Own and Orlando. The author discussed the androgynous quality of the human mind. The main issue which is describes in the book review is the differences and similarities between the men and the women. …
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Virginia Woolf, A Room of Ones Own & Orlando
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Virginia Woolf, A Room of One's Own & Orlando

Download file to see previous pages... But that failing is too rare for one to complain of it, since without some mixture of the kind the intellect seems to predominate and the other faculties of the mind harden and become barren."
The mention of intellect indicates directly enough that this theory is not alien to the general "metaphysic" of Virginia Woolf's art. Mrs. Dalloway, Mrs. Ramsay, if they are to overleap the boundaries of their own individual selves, must arrive at an understanding of men as well as of women sex cannot raise a barrier to cleave the basic likeness that they find.
The germs of this theory, as it appears in The Voyage Out, have already been noticed. Night and Day also contains hints of it: Katharine is twice compared to Rosalind, and Katharine and Cassandra "represented very well the manly and the womanly sides of the feminine nature."
In A Room of One's Own, where Mrs. Woolf discusses the androgynous quality of the human mind, she states quite clearly: "Some collaboration has to take place in the mind between the woman and the man before the act of creation can be accomplished. Some marriage of opposites has to be consummated." The idea of creative tension is merely touched upon, however; never in Mrs. Woolf is it as fully developed as in Eliot.

There is another, more important difference between Eliot's ideas and those of Virginia Woolf. Eliot believes that life has a divine pattern and an ultimate meaning, which one discovers upon union with the still point. The pattern is evolving, rather than final: "the pattern is new in every moment." And the individual has his choice: simply to be moved in the movement, like a hollow man acted upon but not acting; to cut himself off and attempt to create an...
The book review dwells upon a characteristic of persons of the opposite sex in the novels of Virginia Woolf, A Room of One's Own and Orlando. The only pattern Mrs. Woolf acknowledges is that of the general flux and flow of life itself, the "eternal renewal, the incessant rise and fall and fall and rise again". Beyond that, for Mrs. Woolf, there is no divine pattern, no ultimate meaning; beyond that, whatever pattern or meaning life seems to have is that which one arbitrarily imposes in defiance of life's fluidity and chaos; and this pattern which the individual creates must be perpetually remade. Orlando has been called "a study in multiple personality, and a protest against the too narrow labeling of anybody"; "a dynamic fantasia on the history of England's spirit" "une histoire raccourcie de la littérature anglaise"; "a learned parable of literary criticism". Ruth Gruber, calling it a satire on criticism, adds that it "seems as much the history of Virginia Woolf's own literary growth as that of Miss Sackville-West or of England. Virginia Woolf appears to trace her poetic development from that of a romantic child to a woman seeking the realities modulated by her sex." All these statements about Orlando can be called true. Nevertheless, there is a dilemma in the novels. Different though the sexes are, they intermix. 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. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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