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Analysis

Literary Devices in Orlando

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

This poem serves as a talisman for Orlando. Written painstakingly over the course of four hundred years, we can view "The Oak Tree" as a record of Orlando’s life and evolving literary style....

Setting

The action in Orlando is located primarily in England, though Orlando takes a brief trip to Constantinople, where his sex change takes place.The really big enchilada of the setting is its timescale...

Narrator Point of View

In Orlando, Woolf is imitating and mocking real biographers. The biographer that narrates Orlando does everything a regular biographer would do, only this biographer is frequently at a loss because...

Genre

We may have stretched the truth a bit about this being a biography, but it calls itself one, so we feel justified in labeling it that way. Just think of it as an unconventional biography. As far as...

Tone

Since this is a mock biography, Woolf writes as a fake biographer, and as a fake biographer, she has to sound authoritative. However, she’s making fun of the whole genre of biography, so her...

Writing Style

Virginia Woolf sure packs a lot into one sentence, huh? As the novel shifts from being a narrative to a more stream of consciousness style, the sentences become longer and more intricate in their e...

What’s Up With the Title?

The easiest answer to this question is that Orlando: A Biography is about Orlando, hence the title. But this book seems to be self-conscious about its status as a fictional work: "the biographer" i...

What's Up with the Ending?

The ending of this novel is another example of how hard Woolf works to frustrate our expectations of the novel. In a tale of an author who starts his or her magnum opus in the first chapter of the...

Plot Analysis

Orlando, born a wealthy, aristocratic male, embarks on a writing career.At the outset of the novel, we're at a crossroads: the biographer has given us all of the ingredients of a heroic life. Orlan...

Booker’s Seven Basic Plots Analysis: Quest

Queen Elizabeth takes an interest in OrlandoAccording to Booker's analysis of quest narratives, the "call" occurs because life has become oppressive or intolerable and the hero recognizes that only...

Three Act Plot Analysis

Within the first few paragraphs of this novel, we find out that Orlando wants to write. This is going to be the one trait that unifies this character though all of his changes of age, gender, even...

Trivia

The photographs in illustrated versions of Orlando are of the real Vita Sackville-West.Vita Sackville-West and Virginia Woolf were members of the Bloomsbury Group, an English group of intellectuals...

Steaminess Rating

We have the occasional references to Orlando no longer being innocent (Chapter One), some passionate foreplay (Chapter Three), and lying with loose women (Chapter Four). Here’s an example fro...

Allusions

Nick Greene and Orlando discuss the following writers: William Shakespeare, Christopher Marlowe, Ben Jonson, Sir Thomas Browne, John Donne, Cicero, John Milton, Joseph Addison, John Dryden, Alexand...
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