This is how an outline for a research paper proposal is generally supposed to look in a 200 level English Course:
Virginia Woolf’s exploration of how society shapes the human concept of self based on:
- Gender dynamics dependant on perceived physical nature
- Acquisition of madness generated by the experience of societal expectations upon both genders
- The psychological need to adjust oneself to meet perceived expectations of gender status
A Room of One’s Own
My research paper will be titled “Exploring the Impossibility of an Androgynous Mind”, and will utilize two works by Virginia Woolf; Orlando and A Room of One’s Own. I hope to relate the idea presented by Coleridge, of a great mind being androgynous, to the interpretation of and efforts to disprove the possibility of said idea by Virginia Woolf. Woolf holds the view that the minds of men and women are shaped by the societies in which they live. A truly androgynous mind would bring madness. I believe that she first pursues the concept of Coleridge’s notion in A Room of One’s Own and seeks to test it better in Orlando. Granted Orlando was Copyrighted a year before the other selection, but as the other is a collection of essays rather than a more traditional full manuscript, I feel it makes more sense that Orlando was indeed written second and then completed and published after the sixth section of A Room of One’s Own was written, but before it was added to the compilation and released as A Room of One’s Own. I also intend to explore the overtones of bisexuality as they seem designed, in part, to push the boundaries of an intolerant age, but even more so to express how the gender dynamics of a society shape the masculine and feminine mind based on the real and perceived physical design of the individual.
A Room of One’s Own and Orlando, by Virginia Woolf, show the part society plays in defining the mental attributes and gender dynamics of its people which prevent a truly androgynous mind from being developed.