A Study of Gender Performativity in Virginia Woolf’s Orlando: A Mocking Biography
The present paper aims at concentrating on Judith Butler’s theory of gender as performance and how Virginia Woolf challenges the assumptions of heterosexuality in Virginia Woolf’s Orlando(1992). Woolf rebels against the traditional view of gender as two separate categories by presenting Orlando as an androgynous and bisexual character. Orlando’s transformation from male to female and exhibition of the characteristics of both feminity and masculinity expose how gender norms are socially instituted. Woolf portrays Orlando’s attraction to both men and women. He/she loves Sasha regardless of what changes her body undergoes, but he/she marries Shelmerdine because he/she is bisexual. Woolf also shows clothing as signifiers of the social construction of gender and how characters flout this convention by using cross dressing.
Keywords: Virginia Woolf, Orlando, androgyny, bisexuality, gender performativity
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