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Night and Day

Night and Day by Virginia Woolf
By: (1882-1941)

Virginia Woolf is one of the most influential and controversial feminine figures in the literary life of the London society. Night and Day is one of her first novels published in 1919 which displays the moral and spiritual issues that people confront. The author herself was an emotionally unstable person, her episodes of mental illness and suicidal depression being recurrent and always brought into the public attention.

The novel revolves around the life of the main character, Katherine Hilbery, a superb girl, free spirited and living in her twenties. Being the only child of a traditional English family, Katherine spends her time surrounded by intellectual ideas, literature, and family duties. The young lady is pursued by two gentlemen, William Rodney and Ralph Denham.

The first one sees Katherine as the perfect image of womanhood, a strong feminine figure delimited by strong moral laws. Ralph is different; he is the idealistic kind of person who falls in love with her at a first sight. He is loved, at his turn, by Mary, but Woolf decides to make the narration even more exciting by introducing a new feminine figure, Katherine’s cousin, Cassandra.

Virginia Woolf depicts the gender difference by creating female figures like Katherine who consider themselves strong enough to have an independent life. These ladies delay marriage because they follow their own interest, and they see the full satisfaction in the work they do. This novel will hold your attention with the conflict played out between traditional roles and the emerging modern view of Women.


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