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Orlando

Orlando

by Virginia Woolf

Gender Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #7

Orlando sipped the wine and the Archduke knelt and kissed her hand.

In short, they acted the parts of man and woman for ten minutes with great vigour and then fell into natural discourse. (4.33 – 4.34)

Being a "man" and being a "woman" can be "acted." Their genuine selves are different.

Quote #8

The distraction of sex, which hers was, and what it meant, subsided; she thought now only of the glory of poetry, and the great lines of Marlowe, Shakespeare, Ben Jonson, Milton began booming and reverberating, as if a golden clapper beat against a golden bell in the cathedral tower which was her mind. (4.16)

A love for literature is not gendered. In fact, Orlando can think about literature without having to give her new sex any consideration.

Quote #9

Thus, there is much to support the view that it is clothes that wear us and not we them; we may make them take the mould of arm or breast, but they mould our hearts, our brains, our tongues to their liking. (4.48)

According to this passage, it’s not genitalia that make us a man or a woman, it’s the clothes we wear. Orlando is treated differently and behaves differently when she is wearing female clothing rather than male clothing. Furthermore, the importance of clothes is a direct result of society. Orlando never really felt like a woman among the gipsies because they wore unisex clothing.

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