A Comparison Of Feminism In Virginia Woolf's Orlando

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Feminism, in its truest form, is “the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities” (“Feminism”). Virginia Woolf’s Orlando is a novel that brought attention to feminism during 1928 when feminism was not a topic discussed due to cultural stereotypes and gender roles that limited what males and females could do. In Orlando, her transition does not seem to affect anyone’s view on who Orlando was as a person. Though her physical life changes drastically as she so suddenly changes from a Duke to a lovely lady, her mental state and social life seems to change in only ways that would be considered social and cultural matters. For instance, Orlando would have to present herself in a feminine manner and attend social events …show more content…
Some common gender roles and stereotypes would be men working while women stay at home, men being strong while women are considered weak, and men fighting in wars while women have tea parties. Woolf does an excellent job throughout the novel making these points as Orlando progresses by saying things such as “…a boy it must be — no woman could skate with such speed and vigour …” (19). This quote is made towards the appearance of Sasha when Orlando first meets her before he is changed into a woman. Through this quote, Woolf presents her readers with a typical stereotype that says men can do this but women cannot. Common stereotypes such as this male enabling one discourages women. It makes them believe that society feels as though they are incapable of accomplishing the same tasks as men. This is an aspect that Woolf seems to emphasize and utilize throughout Orlando as she attempts to erase gender roles from the world she desires and creates in the novel. Through her emphasis and utilization of stereotypes, Woolf wishes to draw attention to these absurd beliefs and encourage individuals to change perspectives and see through the eyes of others that gender roles and stereotypes never bring

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