Deconstructing Gender Book Review by Chrisje

Deconstructing Gender
An analysis of the theme of deconstructing gender in Virginia Woolf's "Orlando" and Jeanette Winterson's "Written on the Body".
# 92583 | 2,269 words | 20 sources | MLA | 2006 | ZA

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Through a reading of Virginia Woolf's "Orlando" and Jeanette Winterson's "Written on the Body", this paper examines androgyny as a gender position. It looks at how both authors transcend the concepts of gender as opposites of the spectrum and how they bend gender or, 'ungender' gender, with their works.

From the Paper:

"In Orlando Virginia Woolf transcends the concept of gender as opposites of the spectrum. Published in 1928, the same year as The Well of Loneliness, when homosexuality was still taboo and the word androgyny did not yet exist (and an androgynous person was called a hermaphrodite who is a person with both female and male genitalia). the novel was dedicated to Woolf's lover Vita Sackville-West. The novel is the biography of an English aristocratic poet in the 16th century, who becomes the favourite of Elizabeth I. Orlando miraculously changes into a woman and Lady Orlando continues down the centuries in her stately home in Kent. It centres around Orlando's search for her/his (sexual?) identity and fulfillment and it is an escape from fixed gender identity. "

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Butler, Judith. Bodies That Matter. New York: Routledge, 1993.
  • Cixous, Helene. "The Laugh of the Medusa." The Critical Tradition: Classic Texts and Contemporary Trends. Ed. David H. Richter. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1989. 1090-1102.
  • De Beauvoir S. 1949. The Second Sex. Vintage. 556.
  • Foucault, Michel. 1978. The History of Sexuality. An Introduction. Volume I. Random House Inc.
  • Jones, Ann Rosalind. 1981. Writing the Body: Toward an understanding of l'ecriture feminine. Page 371.

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MLA Format

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