Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Critical Article Summary

Burns, Christy L. "Re-Dressing Feminist Identities: Tensions between Essential and Constructed Selves in Virginia Woolf's Orlando." Twentieth Century Literature: A Scholarly and Critical Journal 40.3 (1994): 342-364.

Again this article describes the novel as an exploration of sexuality and its role in society. She also believes is written as a biography of Vita, Virginia Woolf's lover. Burn’s describes how Woolf plays with the concept of truth, especially concerning gender and the ability of costume to mask or distort gender. This article is pragmatic in how it describes the novel as a mirror to the reader. She writes that the oak tree is symbolism for the way Orlando’s body changes forms while he/she stays essentially the same. The Victorian era is when gender difference becomes the most obvious and oppressive. It is then that Orlando feels duty to marry as her role as a woman. She writes finally that the goal of the novel was to take biography and gender roles shake them up and spit them out, Burns believes she succeeded. I think I will use this article a lot as I find her explanation of the way Woolf plays with gender fascinating, as well as fairly easy to understand.

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