This paper examines the role of asexual and aromantic coding within Emily Brontë’s novel Wuthering Heights and Virginia Woolf’s novel To the Lighthouse. Both books utilize relationships and sexuality in order to portray arguments within the book. Brontë portrays Catherine and Heathcliff’s relationship as transcending physicality, both as a way to portray them as soulmates but also to foreshadow events. Woolf utilizes Lily’s disinterest in sex and marriage as a way to contrast her to other women in the novel. Both characterizations can be read as asexual, or in Lily’s case also aromantic. This queer reading allows insight into the characters but it also creates a characterization rarely seen in popular media or literature. It challenges social assumptions about sexuality and romance as well as heteronormative readings of literature. It gives the asexual and aromantic community a literary presence but also shows that the lack of representation can be damaging to the understanding and acceptance of asexual and aromantic individuals.
"Enriching the Story: Asexuality and Aromanticism in Literature,"
sprinkle: an undergraduate journal of feminist and queer studies: Vol. 10, Article 11.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/sprinkle/vol10/iss1/11
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