International Journal of Literature and Arts

Submit a Manuscript

Publishing with us to make your research visible to the widest possible audience.

Propose a Special Issue

Building a community of authors and readers to discuss the latest research and develop new ideas.

Research Article |

The Influence of Buddhist Androgyny on Woolf’s Androgyny -- A New Exploration of A Room of One’s Own

This paper makes an in-depth study of the formation of Woolf’s androgynous view, pointing out that its formation not only depends on the western background, but also is greatly influenced by Buddhism. Firstly, the connotations of Woolf’s androgynous view are summarized into three aspects: desexual connotation embedded in the “One”, dynamic trait represented by the “taxi” image, and psychological tendency embodied in androgynous writing. Then the western background resources for Woolf’s androgyny, feminism and psychoanalysis, are specifically analyzed. Finally, the logic of Buddhist androgyny affecting Woolf’s androgyny is illustrated: this paper defines Buddhist androgyny as a spiritual state dependent on sexual conversion, gender combination and desexualization, which is both the path of enlightenment and the fruit of enlightenment. Woolf’s androgyny works in the same way with Buddhist androgyny. Although Woolf herself had no direct connection with Buddhism, she was inevitably influenced by the widespread interest in it in her Bloomsbury circle, her husband’s strong support for it and her cousin’s eastward trip to Asia. The influence of Buddhism on the words and images in Woolf’s writing is also confirmed in her works, such as A Room of One’s Own. The three connotations of Woolf’s androgyny can be proved to be related to the influence of Buddhist androgyny.

Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own, Androgyny, Buddhism

APA Style

Wang, J., Wang, M. (2023). The Influence of Buddhist Androgyny on Woolf’s Androgyny -- A New Exploration of A Room of One’s Own. International Journal of Literature and Arts, 11(6), 244-252. https://doi.org/10.11648/j.ijla.20231106.13

ACS Style

Wang, J.; Wang, M. The Influence of Buddhist Androgyny on Woolf’s Androgyny -- A New Exploration of A Room of One’s Own. Int. J. Lit. Arts 2023, 11(6), 244-252. doi: 10.11648/j.ijla.20231106.13

AMA Style

Wang J, Wang M. The Influence of Buddhist Androgyny on Woolf’s Androgyny -- A New Exploration of A Room of One’s Own. Int J Lit Arts. 2023;11(6):244-252. doi: 10.11648/j.ijla.20231106.13

Copyright © 2023 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

1. Showalter, E. (1977). A Literature of Their Own: British Women Novelists from Bronte to Lessing. Princeton University Press, pp. 282, 289, 288.
2. Jian Pan. (2008). Virginia Woolf’s Concept of Androgyny and its Writing. Journal of Hunan University (Society Sciences) (2). pp. 97. doi: 10.3969/j.issn.1008-1763.2008.02.017.
3. Woolf, V. (2001). Collected Essays of Woolf I-IV. Xuejun Zhang trans. China Social Science Press, pp. 195, 584, 288.
4. Goldman, J. (2006). The Cambridge Introduction to Virginia Woolf. Cambridge University Press, pp. 102.
5. Farwell, M. R. (1975). Virginia Woolf and Androgyny. Contemporary Literature (16), pp. 451. doi: 10.2307/1207610. 451.
6. Sriratana, V. (2011). “Carrying consciousness like a feather on the top, marking the direction, not controlling it”: Virginia Woolf and Buddhist consciousness. In Daniel Meyer-Dinkgrafe (ed.). Consciousness, Theatre, Literature and the Arts 2011. Cambridge Scholars Publishing, pp. 88-97.
7. Rado, L. (1997). Would the Real Virginia Woolf Please Stand up? Feminist Criticism, the androgyny debates, and Orlando. Women’s Studies: An Interdisciplinary Journal (26), pp. 147-169. doi: 10.1080/00497878.1997.9979158.
8. Woolf, V. (1977). A Room of One’s Own. Grafton, pp. 106, 7, 8, 30, 63, 80.
9. Pawlowski, M. M. (2001). Virginia Woolf and Fascism: Resisting the Dictators’ Seduction. PALGRAVE, pp. 56.
10. Minqin Wang. (2023). Inner Alchemy as the Chinese Ancient Psychology—— What Lies behind Carl Jung’s Misreading of Richard Wilhelm’s Anima and Animus. Religious Psychology, Henghao Liang ed. Religious Culture Press, pp. 3-24.
11. Wilhelm, R. The Secret of the Golden Flower. Cary F. Baynes trans. HBJ, pp. 117-118.
12. Zuyan Zhou. (2003). Androgyny in Late Ming and Early Qing Literature. University of Hawaii Press, pp. 8, 11.
13. Burton-Rose, D. (2012). Gendered Androgyny: Transcendent Ideals and Profane Realities in Buddhism, Classicism, and Daoism. In Transgender China, Howard Chiang and Palgrave Macmillan ed., pp. 69, 75.
14. Sirimanne, C. R. (2016). Buddhism and Women- The Dhamma Has No Gender. Journal of International Women’s Studies (18), pp. 275-276.
15. Kohn, R. E. (2010). Buddhism in Virginia Woolf’s Between the Acts. Notes and Queries (57), pp. 233, 234. doi: 10.1093/notesj/gjq031.
16. Streufert, M. J. (1998). Measures of Reality: The Religious Life of Virginia Woolf. Oregon State University, PhD dissertation, pp. 28.
17. Laurence, P. O. (1991). The Reading of Silence: Virginia Woolf in the English Tradition. Stanford University Press, pp. 53.
18. Brazier, D. (2016). A Certain Kind of Mindful Man. Person-Centered & Experiential Psychotherapies (15), pp. 213-220. doi: 10.1080/14779757.2016.1180635.
19. Samson, A. (2014). Culture, Religion and Cognition: Buddhism and Holistic Versus Analytic Thought. ProQuest LLC, PhD dissertation, pp. 157.