The role of androgyny and performativity in the novels of Virginia Woolf: Orlando & Mrs. Dalloway
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The social roles of male and female are constituted through gender. The body always creates the values and meanings by the performance of social acts. Thus gender is not a fixed phenomenon. It is constantly changing, altering and creating new formations. The notion of androgyny is used to question gender classification. It blends female and male traits and makes a unification of both genders. By creating androgynous minds in her novels, Virginia Woolf questions the social classification of gender and the discrimination between men and women . Her androgynous characters create their social identity through the social performance which resembles Butler’s concept of performativity where gender is formed on the surface of the body . The thesis explores these concepts through a reading of Virginia Woolf’s novels Orlando (1928) and Mrs Dalloway (1925).