Relations Between Men and Women in To The Lighthouse and Ulysses Essay

Relations Between Men and Women in To The Lighthouse and Ulysses Essay

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“She took shelter from the reverence which covered all women; she felt herself praised.”
The opening scene of In To The Lighthouse between Mr Ramsay and Mrs Ramsay exemplifies the gender division that runs throughout the novel highlighting Woolf’s own perspective on society and sexuality between genders. Woolf supports the belief in a complete change to society resulting in a non – hierarchical society. Woolf felt for this to happen aside from the practical changes, that a radical redefinition of sexuality was also needed. Woolf focuses on the “sexual issues of the twentieth century central to feminist campaigns, such as marriage being a form of institutionalized slavery, as well as the androgynous dual roles displayed by both men and women, amidst the development of characters.” Woolf style of narration also impact the novel as she is known for not wanting to relate the novel with a single narrator, “Woolf’s interests lay in wanting to communicate the impression made by one individual upon another, thereby revealing human personality through its own self-consciousness.”
Woolf brings to attention one of Freud’s most well-known theory, the oedipal complex to highlight the patriarchy that runs through the family starting with Mr Ramsay and his need for his own whims and desires to be fulfilled by Mrs Ramsay. Significantly, James being the young child has the same desire to carry on the patriarchy and replace his father as the top of the family. James needs the same reassurances and displays the same selfishness as his father in needing this sympathy and concern showed to him by Mrs Ramsay, “James…stood stiff between her knees, felt her rise in a rosy-flowered fruit tree laid with leaves and dancing boughs into which the beak ...


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...e Modern World’. Emergence: A Journal of Undergraduate Literary Criticism and Creative Research. Available from(WWW) http://journals.english.ucsb.edu/index.php/Emergence/article/view/21/100 Date Accessed: 11/12/13
Ljiljana Ina GJurgjan. The politics of gender in Virginia Woolf’s To The Lighthouse and James Joyce’s A portrait Of The Artist Of A Young Man. (Zagreb: 2010) pp 9
Ruddick, Lisa. (1992) Virginia Woolf and the Fictions of Psychoanalysis by Elizabeth Abel Review, Vol. 89, No. 4 (May, 1992), pp. 617-620

Shmoop Editorial Team. "Virginia Woolf: Women and gender" Available from (WWW) www.Shmoop.com Date accessed: 08/01/14
Susan Sellers. The Cambridge Companion To Virginia Woolf (Cambridge:2000)
Sadowski, P. Dublin Business School: Androgyny and (near) perfect marriage: A systems view of the genders of Leopold and Molly Bloom. 44, 1-2, 2010, 140-162. pp 139


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