blank sheet/page. Woolf would have us read Mrs. Dalloway's blank sheets as proof
of the failure of male violation and a testament to her personal integrity and, thus,
implicitly subversive. But, as my discussion suggests, the renunciatory gesture is a
problematic revision in which the understandable, even necessary attempt to escape from the trap of sexual roles (wife, lover, mother) looks dangerously like a
reinscription of the denial of female sexuality.
It is also worth noting here that in A Room of One's Own,
Woolf describes the
importance to society of woman's role as supporter of man's illusions of his own
superiority (anticipating Luce Irigaray): "Women have served all these centuries as
looking-glasses possessing the magic and delicious power of reflecting the figure of
man at twice its natural size" (35). Later, she ironically describes how the obituary of
a Lady Dudley speaks primarily of her husband's idiosyncrasies. These mirror
images are reversed in Mrs. Ramsay's "reflected" absence.
Auerbach, Eric. "The Brown Stocking." In Mimesis. Princeton: Princeton University
Press, 1974. 525-53.
Henke, Suzette. "Mrs. Dalloway: The Communion of Saints." In New Feminist Essays
on Virginia Woolf. Ed.
Jane Marcus. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1981. 125-47.
Smith, Barbara Herrnstein. "Narrative Versions, Narrative Theories." In On
W. J. T. Mitchell. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1980. 209-32.
Spivak, Gayatri Chakravorty. "Unmaking and Making in To the Lighthouse." In Women
and Language in Literature and Society. Ed.
Ruth Borker, and Nelly Furman. New York: Praeger, 1980. 310-27.
Woolf, Leonard, ed. Collected Essays. Vol. 4. London: Chatto and Windus, 1966.
Woolf, Virginia. Jacob's Room. New York: Harvest/Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1960.
-----. Mrs. Dalloway. London: Granada, 1976.
-----. A Room of One's Own. New York: Harvest/Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1957.
-----. Three Guineas. New York: Harvest/ Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1966.
-----. To the Lighthouse. New York: Harvest/Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1955.
-----. A Writer's Diary. London: Triad/Granada, 1978.
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Book title: Ambiguous Discourse:Feminist Narratology & British Women Writers.
Contributors: Kathy Mezei - Editor.
Publisher: University of North Carolina Press.
Place of publication: Chapel Hill, NC.
Publication year: 1996.
Page number: 108.
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