A Feminist Perspective On Society Essay

1673 Words Oct 14th, 2015 null Page
Virginia Woolf is relatively well known for her ability to provide a feminist perspective on society, as exemplified in her 1927 novel, To the Lighthouse. Woolf has an acute awareness to the damage the domestic sphere can have on women; her writing illustrates the limits and restrictions placed upon them in Victorian culture. These limitations are highlighted not in the trapped and conventional narrative of Mrs. Ramsay, but rather in the struggle for autonomy that Lily and Mrs. Ramsay’s unmarried daughters experience. They act as signs of optimism in the patriarchal world they exist in. Woolf criticizes the expectations for women in the Victorian era through the characterization of Lily Briscoe, the daughters’ rejection of the feminine ideals of Mrs. Ramsay, and the misfortune that the Victorian female characters face. Lily Briscoe is a perfect example of a foil of the Victorian woman. Firstly, and most emphasized by Woolf throughout the novel, she has absolutely no desire to marry. It is made apparent early on that “she would urge her own exemption from the universal law; plead for it; she liked to be alone; she like to be herself; she was not made for that” (Woolf 50). While her intentions of never marrying are made abundantly clear, Mrs. Ramsay is persistent on the subject. She plays matchmaker for many women and Lily is no exception; Mrs. Ramsay is convinced that Lily and William Bankes are destined to marry simply because they have a mutual respect for one another.…

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