Virginia Woolf's The Voyage Out: Carnivalization of Gender Spaces
Keywords:Virginia Woolf, Bakhtin, carnival, carnivalization, patriarchy
Woolf’s themes in her novels gesture in the direction of thought which undermines the idea of an affiliation of a woman with domestic responsibilities. Woolf seems insistent in welcoming new values in her themes – the adaptation of spaces according to women’s desires; therefore, her female characters often attempt to be remote from homes, which are held to be the repository of laws, social rules and principles. This can be perceived specifically in her first novel, The Voyage Out (1915). The Voyage Out allows observing Woolf’s concern with subverting patriarchal ideology, especially gender hierarchies, through the allocation of a special space for the female characters. The novel vividly and widely depicts the process of the possible change of the concept of home and the outside for women. The atmosphere of this space is characterized by the female characters’ challenging of the absolute patriarchal dominance by promoting disregard for static existence and social norms, and by fostering the entrance of the outside into the inside of the houses. This study will analyse The Voyage Out in terms of its characters’ tendencies to avoid patriarchal domestic ideology; and this tendency will be analysed in the light of Bakhtin’s notion of carnival – a sense of the world devoid of social categories. The analysis of the female characters’ escape from the confines of the domestic ideology in The Voyage Out can be divided into two main categories: merging of the inside and the outside and free contact between genders
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