Criticism: Virginia Woolf: Androgyny, And Modernism

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One of the most brilliant and influential authors of her time, Virginia Woolf produced a body of literature that effected deep and long lasting impacts on the world around her. Woolf experienced a lifetime of internal conflict and circumstances that were out of her control that eventually drove her to suicide in 1941. Plagued with a history of mental illness and influenced by her nonconformity, her writings have created new outlooks to be explored on topics such as modernism, feminism, androgyny in literature, as well as countless others. The delicate psyche of Virginia Woolf and her hand in feminism, combined with her relationship with depression and bipolar disorder, has been largely instrumental in the progression of many of the social and…show more content…
Closely related to Virginia’s Woolf’s feminist persuits, the philosophy behind androgyny is a topic that is found commonly throughout many of Woolf’s writings. Although many critics find heavy debate over this topic, Virginia Woolf’s writings about androgyny are undeniably respected in the literary community by many. Her views on the subject are much more simple and gender independent than many critics would like to think. Sherridan, previously quoted from “A Beacon of True Femaleness: A Sociological Analysis of Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse” explains Virginia’s opinions that “the idea of men and women as social ‘actors’ who construct their own experiences through human agency suggests the need for an examination of the social construction of gender, a sociological phenomenon pervasively flourishing throughout several of Woolf’s novels.” A detailed examination of Woolf’s literature also has lead to the conclusion that Virginia Woolf believes “ that the mind must contain elements of both sexes in order to be truly productive… It is fatal to be a man or a woman pure and simple; one must be a woman-manly or a man-womanly. “to think, as [she] had been thinking … of one sex as distinct from the other is an effort. It interferes with the unity of the
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