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EEO. 2020; 19(3): 2009-2017

Feminine Bias: Downsizing Masculinity, Virginia Woolf’s Reversal of Historical Gender Narrative in the English Fictions of Virginia Woolf

Farooq Shah, Dr. Liaqat Iqbal, Dr. Ayaz Ahmad.

The purpose of this study was to explore Virginia Woolf’s fictions from the perspective of what gender roles appear in these fictions. Woolf’s four fictions: A Room of One’s Own, Mrs. Dalloway, To the Lighthouse, and Between the Acts, were considered for analysis. In order to analyze the selected texts, Judith Butler’s (2015) Gender Trouble has been used as a lens. The research focuses on Woolf’s treatment of gender issues in her work. Especially, drawing on Butler’s contention that gender is constructed and performative. The study shows that like the great woman novelists of the long Nineteenth century, Virginia Woolf emerges as the true spokesperson of the gentler sex. While she riles the male dominance in every walk of life in her social essays, her fiction forwards its feminist logic much more subtly. The woman of her novel is delineated so meticulously that she seems to gather a life of her own. It is not Virginia Woolf that we hear speaking in the pages of Mrs. Dalloway or To the Lighthouse; the characters of her novels speak from their own hearts. In this respect, Woolf’s characterization vies with Shakespeare’s. Every character in her novel is afloat the river of life with an inner dynamism. The superb art of characterization, a mastery over dialogue and most importantly, the intimate knowledge of heart keeps Virginia Woolf in good stead when it comes to faithful presentation of life. And, it is this faithful presentation of life that muffles and camouflages Woolf’s feminist agenda.

Key words: fictions, Virginia Woolf’s, woman novelists

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