Hello all! My name is Drew Blanchette. I'm 21 years old and a class member of the Virginia Woolf Seminar. First and foremost, I must warn potential viewers that I have no knowledge of Virginia Woolf's work. I am hoping that as the class progresses and I have a chance to read her apparently fabulous works (or so I have been told) I will develop some knowledge and appreciation. As my blogs increase perhaps the reader will pick up on my progression! Hopefully whoever looks over my site will enjoy my posts and not be too bored by my analyzing attempts. Thanks ahead of time for viewing my site!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Lapin and Lappinova

A rabbit king and a rabbit queen…it sounds like something Beatrice Potter would write about in one of her children’s tales. But no, it’s just Virginia Woolf, writing about gender differences and the constraints of marriage. Rosalind and Ernest are newlyweds, and Rosalind is still uncomfortable in her marriage. She isn’t used to Ernest and finds his name inappropriate for him. She decides that he resembles a rabbit and so she makes him a king rabbit and she is his queen rabbit. It would be one thing if it was just a silly comment that led to nothing, but no, Rosalind holds onto the fantasy dearly. She constantly refers to situations that revolve around the two rabbits, and she even has nightmares about it. Of course, her fantasy eventually runs out because Ernest tells her to stop acting like a child.
It is an interesting story because although nothing drastic happens, it is very depressing. Why? I suppose her fantasy being taken away by her husband is a rather sad notion. Rosalind is attempting to be herself around her husband, her real self, and he takes that away from her. He wants to act a certain way, and she does. It’s almost like she has a realization that she is unable to be her real self anymore. It’s like when the fantasy is taken away so is her innocence.
In class we talked about gender differences and how Woolf didn’t think that it was possible for men and women to truly understand one another. They might be able to get along, but their connection will never be on the same level because of the way that we view things. I don’t know whether she thought this was socially brought about or something of a genetic or scientific matter that could never be remedied. When Rosalind was able to be herself, to think and have an imagination, the marriage was going well. But when Ernest takes her imagination away from her the marriage is already on the road to unhappiness.
I can see how the idea that men and women are on two different wave lengths that will never coexist if you lived in Woolf’s time period. Older generations of men didn’t respect women and they didn’t allow them to think, have opinions, or imaginations. But I don’t think that this is entirely true of men in general today. Of course to claim that all men have evolved to the times and view women with respect would be an exaggeration and very wrong. Even so, I do believe that men and women are more in sync then ever. It has been scientifically proven that men and women perceive the world differently, but that doesn’t mean we are so different that we can never be connected. I suppose it just seems like such a sad idea that every heterosexual couple is only together because of society’s influence, even though we are ultimately unhappy or unfulfilled. Perhaps that is why I found Lapin and Lappinova to be so depressing, because it presents questions that could be asked of our present day world.

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