To the Lighthouse

Social Idealogy and Its Impact on the Text

Throughout literature the ideology of the society in which the author was living is evident in the text. This can cause certain groups within a text to be empowered while the other groups are marginalised and constrained by the social restrictions placed upon them by the ideology. In the novel To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf, Woolf shows us an awareness of gender politics during the 1920s Britain by subverting the traditional gender roles but at the same time naturalises notions of class causing certain groups to be constrained.

In the novel Woolf subverts the patriarchial portrayal of feminism with the character of Lily Brascoe. Lily is constructed as an independent character who defies the ingrained beleifs of how a woman should act. She does this through her actions in a different style despite Mr Tansleys assertion that women cant write, women cant paint and refuses to marry even though it was a popular belief that all women should marry as an unmarried woman has missed the best of life. Instead Lily thought that that 'she did not need to marry, thank heaven she did not need to undergo that degradation. Woolf applauds this attitude, as at the completion of the novel, Lily is one of the few characters who has achieved...

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