Essay On Gender Identity In Virginia Woolf's Orlando

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The gender identification of oneself is conceptualized differently by each individual. Gender is merely a system, produced by society, that divides power. Henceforth, the terms "gender" and "sex" cannot be utilize interchangeably because “gender” proposes that human anatomy defines a person and how they live their lives. A vague traditional stereotype in a binary society, is that women are nurturers whilst, men are protectors. Virginia Woolf merges the lines between genders by scrutinizing appearances, analyzing psychological behaviors, and emphasizing its insignificance.
The natural anatomy of multiple characters in Orlando is often concealed by Woolf’s androgynous descriptions. Precisely at the opening of the biography, Woolf indicates
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After Orlando’s dramatic change in appearance, he nonchalantly proceeds to his bath. Orlando “remained precisely as he had been” and although “it altered their future, did nothing whatever to alter their identity” (138). Orlando’s physical transformation did not transform the core of his identity. In Orlando’s case, the core of his identity is his beliefs and values. The gender lines merge by revealing his non-degrading reaction to his transformation into a female sex because he is certain to whom he as a person. In addition, the gender lines amalgamates through Woolf’s usage of the gender-neutral pronoun, “their.” The gender-neutral language promotes equal value and treatment towards both male and female. Furthermore, while psychological patterns are not entirely fathomable, feminine and masculine qualities are apparent in each person. Woolf postulates that “different though the sexes are, they intermix. In every human being a vacillation from one sex to the other takes place” (189). Woolf entails that it is inevitable for a man to obtain feminine qualities and vice versa. This is blurring the lines between genders as it proves that there are no manifest distinction of gender. Therefore, psychological behaviors are a fundamental evidence to obscure the separation between

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