“Who am I” is a question that most teens find themselves asking at some point during their adolescence. A person’s identity is not made up of just one thing it includes their religion, ethnicity, occupation, physicality, gender, and sexuality. Understanding one’s identity means to fully understand all of these completely different aspects of one self. In The Well of Loneliness by Radclyffe Hall, Stephen Gordon struggles with understanding her identity and her inversion. Her physical appearance clearly has an extremely strong effect on the way she views herself. “A Curious Double Insight: ‘The Well of Loneliness’ and Native American Alternative Gender Traditions” by Tara Prince-Hughes explains that identifying as a lesbian and an invert means two completely different things. Through Native American traditions Hughes explains that Stephen’s definition of her identity resembles their two-spirit emphasis on gender rather than the lesbian emphasis on sexual desire. The article “Hall of Mirrors: Radclyffe Hall's ‘The Well of Loneliness’ and Modernist Fictions of Identity” by Laura Green discusses the struggles that Stephen faced with her inversion and how it reflected on her identity throughout the book.
According to the article by Tara Prince-Hughes, the identification “lesbian” refers to a woman’s sexual orientation and desire. However, identifying as an “invert” refers to a woman’s masculine gender orientation. Stephen Gordon struggles throughout the book to find a way of expressing and understanding her inversion. For Stephen, she is aware of her instinctual masculinity but being at such a young age she is completely confused by it. Growing up with masculine behaviors and the desire for a masculine ap...
... middle of paper ...
...ip (Hall, 15). This is why the understanding and care that Sir Phillip provides for Stephen is so extremely important and it’s why she treasures their relationship so much.
Green, Laura. "Hall of Mirrors: Radclyffe Hall's "The Well of Loneliness" and Modernist Fictions of Identity." Twentieth Century Literature 49.3 (2003): 277-297. JSTOR. Web. 21 May 2014.
Hall, Radclyffe. The Well of Loneliness. 1928. New York: Anchor, 1990. Print.
Hughes, Tara. “‘A Curious Double Insight’”: ‘The Well of Loneliness’ and Native American Alternative Gender Traditions.” Rocky Mountain Review of Language and Literature 53.2 (1999): 31-48. JSTOR. Web. 23 May 2014.
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