Impact of War and Violence on Woman: Woolf and Mamdouh Analytical Essay by scribbler

Impact of War and Violence on Woman: Woolf and Mamdouh
An analysis of the theme of "outsiderness" in the works of Virginia Woolf and Alia Mamdouh.
# 152456 | 3,447 words | 6 sources | MLA | 2013 | US
Published on Feb 14, 2013 in Literature (English) , Literature (World)

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The paper discusses how Virginia Woolf (1882 - 1941) and Alia Mamdouh (b. 1944), although from different societies, generations, and cultural circumstances, struggle to capture women's "outsiderness" in their works of fiction and non-fiction. The paper analyzes how they explore the effects of women's submission to and rebellion against violence and their depiction of women suffering the explicit and implicit violence of male-dominated society in secrecy, invisibility, and hidden meaninglessness. The paper compares their perspectives and highlights how both authors highlight women's fear as a key to understanding women's consciousness and their continued submission to or rebellion against those forces of violence that oppress them. The paper also notes that in both works, the perplexity and seeming meaninglessness of an oppressed life or a life of submission is overcome only through solidarity of women with one another, and so they remain hopeful despite the seeming tragedy of oppression.

From the Paper:

"One thing that Clarissa's character in Mrs. Dalloway makes clear is that her personality is conflicted. Clarissa does not have a clear and meaningful sense of identity. When she walks through London's Bond Street and observes life, she is struck by a kind of nostalgia for a different kind of life. Her feeling is that she is drifting above the world. Woolf writes, "She sliced like a knife through everything; at the same time was outside, looking on" (8). Clarissa has a sense watching the street of being gone far away and alone. With the sense of loneliness and floating as an outsider on the margin of life comes a great sense of danger. This is her principle view of life for a woman: that it is dangerous. Therefore, the woman must find a way to achieve security with a successful man, even if that means being an outsider and relinquishing all movement toward the assertion of herself. There is concomitantly a sense of nothingness, an inability to pin down her identity or anyone else's identity. She cannot "say of any one in the world now that they were this or were that" (8). Her sense of invisibility is palpable. She is afraid because this non-identity is so amorphous and confusing, and it makes her unseen or unnoticed (11). People see her as possessing coldness and impenetrability."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Howard, Maureen. "Foreword." In Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway, vii-xiv. New York: Harvest/HBJ, 1925; reprint, 1981
  • Mamdouh, Alia. "Creatures of Arab Fear." In In the House of Silence: Autobiographical Essays by Arab Women Writers, ed. Fadia Faqir, trans. Shirley Eber and Fadia Faqir, 63-72. Reading, UK: Garnet Publishing, 1988.
  • _____. Mothballs. Trans. Peter Theroux. Reading, UK: Garnet Publishing, 1996.
  • _____. The Loved Ones. Trans. Marilyn Booth. New York: American University in Cairo Press, 2006.
  • Woolf, Virginia. Mrs. Dalloway. New York: Harvest/HBJ, 1925; reprint, 1981.

Cite this Analytical Essay:

APA Format

Impact of War and Violence on Woman: Woolf and Mamdouh (2013, February 14) Retrieved June 09, 2023, from

MLA Format

"Impact of War and Violence on Woman: Woolf and Mamdouh" 14 February 2013. Web. 09 June. 2023. <>