Radcliffe Hall’s The Well of Loneliness Essay
Radcliffe Hall’s novel, The Well of Loneliness, depicts the girlhood and womanhood of a non-conventional woman, Stephen Gordon, who after assuming her natural inversion during her adolescence, fights to find a place in the world. After fulfilling partially her aspirations by serving in I World War as an ambulance driver, she falls in love with Mary, another ambulance driver, and for a short while they defy the world with their happiness. This feeling, however would not last. The invert’s doom forces Stephen to the last exertion of self-denial and martyrdom when she renounces to her love for Mary and surrenders her to their common friend Martin to take care of her …show more content…
This interpretation of homosexuality, in this sense, simply supports heterosexual gender roles, suppressing any revolutionary notion around gender or sex. In fact, the kind of invert (lesbian) shown is a traditional high-class, well-educated and conceited person with no other thought than class pride and family in the most old-fashioned way. She would have made a perfect gentleman of her time except for being a woman.
Moreover, catholic religion (including a generous dose of self-mortification) assumes a key factor in the invert’s search for redemption, in a clear bias of her own experience. As a consequence to the abnormality of his doom, the invert will be a lifelong outcast with no love to redeem him and no gentility society to seek refuge in: happiness