Woolf then Potter: moving beyond gender within a gendered discourse

Chalk, Penny (2012) Woolf then Potter: moving beyond gender within a gendered discourse. BA dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    This study is an examination of Virginia Woolf’s novel 'Orlando: A Biography' (1928) and its subsequent film adaptation by Sally Potter. Using recent journal articles on the novel and film in conjunction with key theorists, this work focuses on issues of gender evident in both the theme and form of each text. In the first chapter a study of themes is provided, placing each text within its own cultural context. Virginia Woolf’s work is related to early feminist theory by examining her application of the psychological and mythological models of androgyny in vogue during the 1920s. Conversely, the film text 'Orlando' (1992) exhibits the later theories of post feminism, in order to illustrate how it reflects the concerns of a contemporary society who sought to move beyond definitive roles of gender identity. Through a close textual analysis of each text, an alliance is uncovered and explored connecting the post feminist movement of the 1990s to 'Orlando: A Biography' published more than sixty years earlier.
    An examination of the structure of each text in the second chapter, allows for an exploration of gendered discourse. This analysis relates early autobiography, considered a male genre, feminist stylistics, and parody to the novel in order to examine the methods through which Woolf presented a challenge to phallocentricity. The translation of the novel’s narration in 'Orlando' is examined and contrasted to the conventional cinematic model. Film form is established as a male structure, and the processes through which it is disrupted in the film is analysed in accordance with feminist film theorists. By examining both theme and form it is argued that each text invokes contradictory readings of gender, which furthers the argument of its inherent instability.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries > School of Media and Performing Arts
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2014 15:50
    Last Modified: 05 Mar 2015 08:26
    URI: http://eprints.port.ac.uk/id/eprint/14086

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