Bakhtinian Act of “Decrowning” in Virginia Woolf’s to the Lighthouse Cover Image

Bakhtinian Act of “Decrowning” in Virginia Woolf’s to the Lighthouse
Bakhtinian Act of “Decrowning” in Virginia Woolf’s to the Lighthouse

Author(s): Victoria Bilge Yilmaz
Subject(s): Gender Studies, Semiology, Russian Literature, Hermeneutics
Published by: Celal Bayar Üniversitesi Sosyal Bilimler Enstitüsü
Keywords: Virginia Woolf; Mikhail Bakhtin; To the Lighthouse; decrowning;

Summary/Abstract: The father figure in Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse makes himself seem strong and authoritative although in reality he needs the others’ support and help. Mr Ramsay, who heavily depends on the ideas of certainty and stability in every respect, does not accept women’s independence. However, Mr Ramsay is constantly belittled by Mrs Ramsay, Lily, and the narrator. Mr Ramsay’s authority is ridiculed and mocked. In this regard, the novel becomes suitable for an analysis in terms of Mikhail Bakhtin’s concept of “decrowning” that widely takes place in the discussion on “carnival,” one of Bakhtin’s main focuses in his works. The act of decrowning in Bakhtin’s works is a physical act of dethronement of a symbolic king during the carnival. Decrowning suggests a constant change of everything. In this way, Mr Ramsay’s decrowning suggests Woolf’s desire to see the change in women’s condition. This study analyses Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse as a platform on which the main father figure is often ignored as an authoritative male figure. And this emasculation of Mr Ramsay is likened to the act of decrowning, which is one of the acts that take place during carnivals in Bakhtin’s works.

  • Issue Year: 16/2018
  • Issue No: 03
  • Page Range: 501-517
  • Page Count: 17
  • Language: English