To The Lighthouse And Lady Oracle — страница 2

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creative lives of women. Instead of centering her novel around the violent abuses of power in a patriarchal society or the effects on social life of prohibiting middle-and upper-class women from education or employment, Woolf centers her novel around the subtle distortions which a strict division of gender roles produces on personalities and on family life. This is clearly evident in the protagonist/antagonist aspect of her novel. The protagonist, who is Lily, struggles to be an artist in a society where women are expected only to be wives and mothers like Mrs. Ramsey is. The Antagonist is Mrs. Ramsey. She is he perfect model of the old generation?s value of a woman?s place in the patriarchy. This clash is much more important then the male/female clash because it is a

female/female clash. How a women should fit into society and the battle that is fought to go beyond the gender stereotypes and the place of women in the society. In Margaret Atwood?s Lady Oracle, Joan fantasizes and later writes about the constantly sought after ideal of love, all she ever really yearns for is the acknowledgment of her needs and the feeling that she is needed. Again as stated earlier this is normal for anyone one. Unfortunately, she is immersed in an individualistic patriarchal culture that denies the possibility of exerting one’s identity in a non-reactionary way. Society’s constructs decree the role and the image that one is to assume. This meaning men have there place and woman have there place. There is no room for blending of roles, no gray area one

might say. The blending of roles would surely mean that you are less masculine or less feminine, and that could never be tolerated. Men were men, and women were women. Joan’s constant cruel relegation to the margins of society causes her to develop a acute, empathetic eye for the pain of others. Because Joan has gave up on attempting to satisfy any of society’s prescribed roles, she becomes able to see past the ideals and images of bliss that it successfully sells: Escape wasn’t a luxury for them, it was a necessity… I had the power to turn them from pumpkins to pure gold… Why refuse them their castles, their persecutors and their princes… The truth was that I dealt in hope, I offered a vision of a better world” (31-2). Joan feels it is healthy to put up a wall of

protection to keep the real world at bay, while retreating into the world of fantasy Gothic romances to satisfy her needs and those of her female readers. Immersed in a society where one cannot escape the pressure to fit the proper image and act the according role, Joan seeks escape into the world of fantasy, in which the creative and deceptive potentialities give the impression of freedom. As ridiculous as that may be she was able to escape the rules and boundaries set by society. In an unconventional manner none the less but still she was successful. Atwood also undermines the position of language that reflects objective reality. The plot within a plot structure disrupts the calendar of the main narrative, thus creating several dofferent temporal levels intertwined within each

other. These seem to suggest the dissolution of identity and the lack of unity that characterize Joan’s society. Nothing and no-one can be clearly labeled.. One of Woolf’s lifelong concerns was the role of women in a patriarchal society. In Woolf’s time, learned men wrote scholarly and well-respected books on the intellectual inferiority of women. This is where Woolf herself fits into the novel and how she uses Lily Briscoe to represent her own beliefs and struggles throughout her own life. Woolf understood the overt and covert pressures placed on women not to write. Her being a writer this was very obvious to her as it was her life. One such pressure was created by the ideology of true womanhood, which was very strong during the Victorian period and is residually present

in our own time. This ideology held that women belonged in the home where they provided a civilizing influence over men. Women were to be the restricted to the house. This was not only just some underlying belief in the society, but it went as deep as having Newspaper editorials, scholarly books, medical professionals, preachers, lawmakers all producing reasons why it was in women’s and in civilization’s best interests to keep middle- and upper-class women uneducated and unemployed. Clearly this was a very sexist view, but it was the view none the less held by the majority in power therefor that?s the way it was, and to an extent still is today. Even though gender roles and the conflicts that are present due to them in today?s society are more flexible and lenient they have