Critical Discourse Analysis of Female Consciousness in the Novel Orlando from Transitivity Perspective

Ying Qiu


This paper adopts transitivity system approach to
make a critical discourse analysis (CDA) of female
consciousness in the novel Orlando written by Virginia Woolf.
The novel depicts the transformation of the protagonist Orlando
from a man to a woman. Most previous researches on Orlando
have been carried out from a historical perspective by laying
stress on feminism and androgynism indicated from the text.
While this research integrates transitivity system and CDA
together to systematically investigate ideology and social power
resided in the text. Thus, two linguistic aspects are taken as the
theoretical framework. One is CDA which focuses on social
inequality and injustice (Fower, 1981) by revealing ideological
dominance and power hidden in the discourse. The other one is
transitivity system which comes from M.A.K.Halliday’s
Systemic-Functional Grammar. As for the methodology of this
research, quantitative analysis as well as qualitative analysis are
used. The purpose of the study is to uncover the relationship
between language and society by performing a critical analysis
on the novel.


Orlando; Critical Discourse Analysis; Transitivity system; language; ideology

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