Date of Award

5-2008

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

MA English

Department

English

Keywords

Virginia Woolf, Novels, Fiction, Orlando, Clarissa Dalloway, Bisexuality

Abstract

In Orlando Virginia Woolf, shows Orlando as a person with a clear conscience who knows what he/she wants. Like Clarissa Dalloway in Mrs. Dalloway, who is also often regarded as a lesbian because she loves Sally fondly her whole life but chooses to marry Richard, Orlando loves Sasha regardless of what changes her body undergoes, but chooses to marry Shel. Neither Clarissa nor Orlando is forced into marriage. Both choose to marry and abandon their active lesbian tendencies because they know what is most comfortable for them. As bisexuals they show the confusion of desiring both sexes, and instead of staying in flux and being constantly overwhelmed by sexual excitement, both choose men who allow them freedom and comfort. Using Judith Butler's Gender Trouble and Bodies that Matter to establish that Clarissa and Orlando are bisexuals readers will understand where Woolf's ideas in A Room of One's Own where coming from when she wrote "there are two selves in the mind corresponding to the two selves in the body" (98) and that in order to be an artist one must be, "profoundly bi-sexed, "bi­ selfed," self-different" (41) like Orlando and Clarissa.

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