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Virginia Woolf: Writing the World$
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Pamela L. Caughie and Diana L. Swanson

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780990895800

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9780990895800.001.0001

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Companion Creatures: “Dogmanity” in Three Guineas

Companion Creatures: “Dogmanity” in Three Guineas

(p.141) Companion Creatures: “Dogmanity” in Three Guineas
Virginia Woolf: Writing the World

Vicki Tromanhauser

Liverpool University Press

Humanity has looked to dogs as sensory and perceptual technologies through which it might extend its awareness or enlarge its scope of action. Similarly, Virginia Woolf’s Three Guineas (1938) shows how the sisters and daughters of educated men have been cultivated to flourish alongside and to support their male companions. Britain’s somewhat embarrassed reliance on a female labor force during WWI provoked a misogynistic backlash in the daily papers that Woolf takes pains to document. By supplementing feminine perceptual powers with canine aptitudes, Woolf introduces a counterpoint, or even counterenvironment, that works to challenge both masculine and human perceptual norms. The particular kind of self-reflection that comes from Woolf’s canine perspectivism, her cultural study of dogmanity, might serve as a way of “reminding us that a human point of view is but one immersed, subjective perspective amongst many.”

Keywords:   Virginia Woolf, Three Guineas, WWI, Misogyny, Dogs, Perception, Cognition

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