Generally acknowledged as an important precursor of modern feminist literary criticism, Virginia Woolf has showed her concerns with such issues as female identity and literary creations in many of her works; meanwhile, A.S. Byatt, hailed as “one of the most imaginative and intelligent writers of English today”, has, in her works, attentively concentrated on multiple aspects like female visions, arts and thoughts. Possession:A Romance (1990), as the zenith of Byatt’s literary creations, is filled with the author’s feministic thinking and shows striking parallels with that of Woolf in many aspects like themes, content, characterization, and narration. However, as a woman writer at the end of the20th century and the beginning of the21st century, Byatt has also exhibited many differences with Woolf in those aspects.This thesis tries to make a comparison between the feministic thinking of Woolf and Byatt by juxtaposing several of Woolf’s works and Byatt’s Possession, and probes into Byatt’s inheritance and development of Woolf from four aspects. First, both writers have focused on writing about women’s marginalized existential predicaments in history as well as in reality in their works, while Byatt puts more emphasis on depicting women’s situations in contemporary British academia. Then, both writers have strived to remold the distorted and alienated female images under the influence of the signalized male-dominated visions and discourse, and have established some new images of women. Yet, Byatt has made certain breakthroughs towards those new images characterized by Woolf. What’s more, both writers have actively competed for the rights of women voicing themselves in their creations. Compared with Woolf who has laid more emphasis on calling upon women writers, Byatt has made those diversified female images under her pen become the fictional representation of a larger female group. Lastly, Woolf encourages all women to pursue a writing career boldly and promotes some innovative ideas on women’s writing in some of her works. Directed by those ideas, Woolf is actively engaged in inventing distinctive styles of female language and structure and practicing diversified forms of literature and narrative strategies. Byatt strikes a chord with Woolf in Possession on the concept of androgyny promoted in A Room of One’s Own. At the same time, since Possession is celebrated for its interlaced literature forms and breakage of the narrative limitations in the traditional novels, it demonstrates Byatt’s resonance with Woolf on her promotion of creating distinctive female discourse and narrative mode.Through a detailed analysis of some of Woolf s works and Possession, the thesis has endeavored to further unearth the commonality and continuity of Woolf and Byatt in aspects embracing female thoughts and creations in order to track the historical memory of women’s literary creations.
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