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Virginia Woolf's Concept Of Androgyny - Essay Example

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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."
Of course, Orlando has been given innumerable interpretations. It has been called "a study in multiple personalities, and a protest against the too narrow labeling of anybody"; "a dynamic fantasia on the history of Englands spirit"; Orlando is a fantasy and an allegory only on the surface; as an expression of its thought, the technique is functional and not mere virtuoso caprice.
Virginia Woolf's concept of androgyny is not that there is really no difference between men and women. Only by intuitive perception can men and women be the same; to be a woman, then, is in this sense to be as different as possible from a man to know by intuition and intellect instead of by intellect alone.
The great novelist Virginia Woolf was able to characterize persons of the opposite sex as convincingly as those of his own. In her book A Room of One's Own published the year after Orlando, Virginia Woolf classified authors according to the androgyny. Noting that "neither Mr. Galsworthy nor Mr. Kipling has a spark of the woman in him. They lack suggestive power," she went on to say that Milton, Ben Jonson, Wordsworth, and even Tolstoi are too much male; that Shelley is sexless; but that Shakespeare, Keats, Sterne, Cowper, Lamb, and Coleridge are androgynous. "Proust," she added, "was wholly androgynous, if not perhaps a little too much of a woman. But that failing is too rare for one to complain about it since without some mixture of the kind the intellect seems to predominate and the other faculties of the mind harden and become barren." ...Show more
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The great novelist Virginia Woolf was able to characterize persons of the opposite sex as convincingly as those of his own. The writer of the paper "Virginia Woolf's Concept Of Androgyny" discusses classification according to the androgyny made by Virginia Woolf…
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