Essay on Sarah Water 's Affinity And Virginia

Essay on Sarah Water 's Affinity And Virginia

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When looking at narrative voice and fiction in Sarah Water’s Affinity and Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse it is clear that although there are some apparent similarities there are stark contrasts between the two. Both texts are seen as abstract, feminist texts due to the, often taboo, subjects that they explore. Sarah Water’s neo Victorian novel Affinity explores taboo passions against the backdrop of the Victorian capital thus creating a seamless combination of tradition and originality . Waters’ explores female sexuality and position in society through the narrative voice, style and chronological order of the novel. Affinity, according to Linda Hutcheon, can be seen as “historiographic metafiction,” describing it as writing in which “theoretical self-awareness of history and fiction as human constructs … is made the grounds for its rethinking and reworking of the forms and contents of the past” . Sarah Waters looks at Virginia Woolf for inspiration. Virginia Woolf in To the Lighthouse makes brutally perfect observations. Woolf’s use of narrative voice, style and chronological order allow her to explore gender equality and male oppression.

The narrative voices that Sarah Water uses in her novel Affinity constantly switches between two narrators allowing Waters to explore and contrast different female perspectives and roles in the Victorian era. The narration swaps constantly between the two main characters Margaret and Selina who are the main couple that the narrative is centred around. The narrative connection between the two characters helps to emphasises Water’s focus on homosexual relationships and feminism within the text due to the role that each character plays in the Victorian society. Sarah Water uses the voice of Sel...


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... Rose mocked him, Prue mocked him; Andrew, Jasper and Roger mocked him; even old Badger without a tooth in his head had bit him’ . This passage in To the Lighthouse shows the often confusing similarity between a narrator’s utterance and the omniscient narrator. However Woolf’s intricate use of punctuation signifies the continuation of consciousness, with the repeated use of semi colons which allows reader to distinguish where the stream of consciousness starts and ends.

Overall it is clear that both Sarah Water’s and Virginia Woolf narrative allows them to empower their female protagonist in a plight to show gender inequality they also use there narrative voice and style a different slope. Waters’ focuses not only on the oppression of women but on the oppression of
homosexuality. Whereas Woolf focuses on gender inequality and the deep rooted stereotypes in society.

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