Gender Subversion in Virginia Woolf’s Works: Comparing A Room of One’s Own, Orlando, and To the Lighthouse

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This thesis aims to explore if and in what way gender and the subversion of gender roles are expressed in three of Woolf’s works: A Room of One’s Own, Orlando, and To the Lighthouse. This research is part of the academic field of studying modernist literature from a feminist perspective. The research question that will be answered is: How are Virginia Woolf’s ideas regarding gender, as expressed in A Room of One’s Own, reflected in two of her earlier works, Orlando and To the Lighthouse? To answer this question, I will carry out a textual analysis of Orlando and To the Lighthouse, looking at the gender-related themes in these texts and comparing them to the themes as expressed in A Room of One’s Own. I expect that the ideas that are conveyed in A Room of One’s Own may indeed also be present in Orlando and To the Lighthouse. Apart from using the three primary sources mentioned above, I will also use secondary sources to explain the theory of feminist literature, and to explain several themes in Woolf’s works. In doing so, this research will not only provide more insight into these texts by Woolf and how they relate to each other, but also into how initial reconstructions of gender subversion were expressed in literature in the interbellum. Key words: Virginia Woof, A Room of One’s Own, Orlando, To the Lighthouse, gendersubversion, gender roles, feminism
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