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Irony in Woolf's a Room of One's Own

Author SongJun
Tutor MaLiLi
School Hebei Normal
Course English Language and Literature
Keywords ironic measure androgynous vision ironic characteristics
CLC I561.074
Type Master's thesis
Year 2013
Downloads 10
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The dramatic setting of A Room of One’s Own is that Woolf has been invited to lectureon the theme of Women and Fiction. She advances the thesis that "a woman must have moneyand a room of her own if she is to write fiction." Her essay is constructed as apartly-fictionalized narrative of the thinking that led her to develop this thesis.In A Room of One’s Own, irony plays an important role. This thesis tries to study theironic measures in plot and in characterization, with the purpose to find out the conclusionsabout irony of the characteristic of the book. Woolf’s ironic style was appreciated by eacheffective reader for its effective balancing of different arguments and positions. Woolfemployed the ironic fantasy many times, and which could be considered as "dense, whimsical,and semi-academic style".This thesis studies the ironic characteristics of A Room of One’s Own. The first ironiccharacteristic is the mixed use of the saying and the implication. The second ironiccharacteristic is the ironic recognition. The third is the specified and enriched context givenby Woolf in her treatment of irony. Virginia Woolf firstly used critical tone against traditionalpatriarchal culture, and then used positive tone to break the traditional expressing ways andrecreate woman’s own language. She introduced the theory of androgynous vision: in each ofus two powers preside, one male, one female; and in the man’s brain the man predominatesover the woman, and in the woman’s brain the woman predominates over the man. Woolfmakes use of the irony of androgyny to reveal the impossibility of knowing the differencebetween man and woman and to reveal the sex equality. Since sex and gender boundaries arealways fluid and not fixed, the androgyny remains a body continually at war with itself.Woolf saw the weakness of the women seeking their career in the man-center society, justlike the perfect view of this novel which stands for the equality of women as men in theprocess to pursue their career.

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