Woolf parodies many types of literature in Orlando, especially biography. She was also critical of British historiography (at the time very concerned with military-political history), because she believed it neglected the lives of women. Orlando is critical of aspects of wide-spanning historical periods (the Renaissance, the Restoration, the Enlightenment, the Romantic, the Victorian and Woolf’s present), yet Woolf also maintains an affinity for certain aspects of British life and values.

Write a short response (~500 words) answering the following:

Which genre conventions of other types of literature does she address, and how does she address them? What do these changes suggest about how Woolf has responded as a reader of other genres and time periods of literature?
What messages about the scope of biographies versus literature does the text convey? (Support your answer with a reference to a quotation from the text).
How do Woolf’s rhetorical choices pertaining to genre appeal to her contemporary audience?

Sample Solution

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