Concocting Emotions & Intellectual Sensibility And Physical & Immanent In Virginia Woolf’s To The Lighthouse By Doing Judith Butler’s Performative Gender

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Sania Gul , Farooq Shah , Waqas Ahmad


This paper attempts to find out the antithetical balance of certain features incorporated into Virginia Woolf’s characters in To the Lighthouse, such as emotions are counterbalanced by intellectual vigour, pathos by enrapture or euphoria and hardheadedness by physical actions. Virginia Woolf’s greatest artifice was the creation of a striking balance between pathos and humour, imagination and concretion, intellect and emotions, and performative action and immanent. Her art relies purely on the aesthetics and dramaturgy of very complacent characters to a troll of being under the impression of whims and caprice, but that capricious and mercurial nature of her characters again, through her very instant stylistic recoil, resumes stability and sensibility. The same we find in the very onset of To the Lighthouse when James’s romantic thought process is punctured and swatted by a rigorously unqualified reply from Mr. Ramsay about the unfriendly English weather, and a thought-process that was initially ignited and inflamed by the mother-warmth from Mrs. Ramsay. Such were the emotions counterpoised by Woolf through pure amalgamation of romanticism and realisms. As Woolf creates this balance through the help of gender expostulation and as elements emanate from her gender doing, therefore this papers employs this gender polemic as its theoretical framework to use the percepts from Judith Butler’s Gender Trouble, properly referenced at the works cited. The paper concludes by the remarks that gender politics, in order to attempt gender balance, offers a fertile ground for Woolf to establish a good balance between pathos and homour, regret and optimism, intellect and emotions, bereavement and fluke, romantic and de(romantic) ideals. 

Fruther aim of this paper is to examine Virginia Woolf’s contribution in giving to the world a new concept of ideal femininity. Mrs. Woolf has celebrated femininity in her novels. Woolf, in her novels, has tried to bring out the anguish and emptiness that permeates in the lives of women. She has artistically crystallized the strife of a female that goes through in her mind. Woolf in this chaotic world tries to create a harmony which can be achieved when both the genders establish a close rapport with each other. She aims at creating a monoclinous world in which there is balance between intellect and emotion, man and woman, heart and mind.

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