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Feminism in Mrs. Dalloway

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Cristina Dodson

on 26 April 2014

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Transcript of Feminism in Mrs. Dalloway

"(Adeline) Virginia Woolf." Feminist Writers. Ed. Pamela Kester-Shelton. Detroit: St. James Press, 1996. Literature Resource Center.
Blanchard, Margaret . “Socialization in Mrs. Dalloway.”College English, Vol. 34, No. 2, Marxist Interpretations of Mailer, Woolf, Wright and Others (Nov., 1972), pp. 287-305
Delgado García, Cristina. "Discurso descentralizador, politica egocentrica: radicalismo e individualidad en Mrs Dalloway, de Virginia Woolf." Atlantis, revista de la Asociación Española de Estudios Anglo-Norteamericanos 32.1 (2010): 15+. Literature Resource Center.
"Feminism." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 23 Apr. 2014. Web. 24 Apr. 2014.
Lorentzen, Eric G. "Foucault's normalizing judgment, deviancy and Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway." Virginia Woolf Miscellany 70 (2006): 11+. Literature Resource Center.
Marcus, Laura. "Woolf's Feminism and Feminism's Woolf." The Cambridge Companion to Virginia Woolf. 1st ed. N.p.: Cambridge UP, 2000. 209-44. Print.
Peele, Thomas. "Queering Mrs. Dalloway." Literature and Homosexuality. Ed. Michael J. Meyer. Amsterdam: Rodopi, 2000. 205-221. Rpt. in Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism. Ed. Kathy D. Darrow. Vol. 268. Detroit: Gale, 2012. Literature Resource Center.
Shihada, Isam. "A Feminist Perspective of Virginia Woolf’s Selected Novels: Mrs. Dalloway and To the Lighthouse." International Journal of Arabic-English Studies (IJAES) 6 (2005): 15-34. Web.
Showalter, Elaine (1979). "Towards a Feminist Poetics". In Jacobus, M. Women Writing about Women. Croom Helm. pp. 25–36.
Wilson, J. J. "(Adeline) Virginia Woolf." British Novelists, 1890-1929: Modernists. Ed. Thomas F. Staley. Detroit: Gale Research, 1985. Dictionary of Literary Biography Vol. 36. Literature Resource Center.
Works Cited
Virginia Woolf and Feminism
Concern for gender identity and women's lives and stories.
Criticism of effects of WWI on society.
Call for a society of women.
"As a woman I have no country. As a woman I want no country. As a woman, my country is the whole world." (
Three Guineas
"I would venture to guess than Anon, who wrote so many poems without signing them, was often a woman." (
A Room of One's Own
“A woman knows very well that, though a wit sends her his poems, praises her judgment, solicits her criticism, and drinks her tea, this by no means signifies that he respects her opinions, admires her understanding, or will refuse, though the rapier is denied him, to run through the body with his pen.” (
Virginia Woolf Biography
Educated at home.
Oppressive, conservative father. Nurturing mother.
Marriage to Leonard Woolf and creation of Hogarth Press.
Bloomsbury Group.
Analysis of Mrs. Dalloway
In Mrs Dalloway, Woolf depicts the impact of WWI as well as a male-dominated society on the lives of individuals, especially women whose lives have been restricted by moral, ideological, and social masculine factors. Thus, their lives have been filled with loneliness and frustration due to their impotence.
Clarissa Dalloway is the protagonist of the novel and her experiences and relationships with others (however loosely interconnected) make up a great portion of the narrative. She has had three separate love stories with Peter Walsh, Richard Dalloway, and Sally Seton.
by Cristina Dodson Castillón
Feminism in Mrs. Dalloway
Leslie and Julia Stephen
Leonard Woolf and
Hogarth Press
Woolf as the mother of 20th-century feminist literary criticism.
Understanding gender inequality.
Elaine Showalter's three phases: feminist critique, gynocriticism, gender theory.
Feminism as a movement that seeks equality.
Feminist Theory
Analysis of Characters
Clarissa Dalloway and Peter Walsh
Relationship of love and tension. Clarissa's inner conflict between desire for independence and love for Peter.
“For in marriage a little licence, a little independence there must be between people living together day in day out in the same house; which Richard gave her, and she him (where was he this morning, for instance? Some committee, she never asked what.) But with Peter everything had to be shared, everything gone into.”
Peter (visionary) vs. Clarissa (lack of worldliness)
Richard and Clarissa Dalloway
Privacy over passion.
The marriage is not a success.
There is a lack of intimacy and Clarissa is alienated.
No matter who she would have chosen (Peter or Richard) she would still have been unhappy and invisible.
“With twice his wits she had to see things through his eyes—one of the tragedies of married life. With a mind of her own, she must always by quoting Richard—as if one couldn’t know to a tittle what Richard thought by reading the Morning Post of a morning.” She is caught in the trap of “the perfect hostess”.
Clarissa Dalloway and Sally Seton
Female relationships, idea of sisterhood.
Deviant sexuality breaking from patriarchal order.
The kiss (ultimate expression of their desire) expressed with the language of the male orgasm.
Clarissa succumbs to the pressures of society.
Sally, the most independent fighter, also yielded and married.
Woolf uses their relationship to show clearly the extreme pressures women faced at that time.
Miss Kilman
Seeks refuge after being fired. Relationship with religion.
Fixation with humiliating Clarissa.
Adopts masculine characteristics.
Further deprived from a fulfilling role in society because she is not married.
Elizabeth Dalloway
Unconventional like her mother in youth. She has professional aspirations.
She is also affected by her parents' strained marriage.
The subject of conflict between Clarissa and Miss Kilman. A blend of both?
"Élan vital"
Homosexual relationship with Miss Kilman.
Is there truly room for change in Elizabeth's generation?
Lady Burton
Aristocratic woman who is politically active.
She is still confined by society (even with her financial freedom).
Lady Bradshaw
An example of the "upper-class Victorian woman".
Totally depends on her husband.
Has no true life or goals of her own.
Septimus and Lucrezia Smith
Dark side of patriarchal society.
Septimus suffers from PTSD.
Septimus sees through the English society of that t.
Rezia is completely isolated. She has no escape.
The Bloomsbury Group
Full transcript