Logic in Thinking

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‘Irrational’ means the opposite of rational, which would mean it is not based on logical reasoning. Thus, anyone unwilling to focus on the truth as it could be defined in real, rational terms was considered irrational. This included such flights of fancy as believing in the supernatural, such as ghosts, as well as focusing on the superficial at the expense of the real. In the extreme gender divisions of the age, the terms rational and irrational were also often used to distinguish between the male mind (rational) and the female mind (irrational). Within this early modern period, two female writers, Katherine Mansfield and Virginia Woolf attempted to show that the differences between rational and irrational were not so easily defined or separated. In her short story The Garden Party, Mansfield attempts to illustrate through her character Laura how the irrational superficiality of her family gives rise to the rationality of the character incorrectly assessing their interrelationships with others in their community based upon the irrational feelings and impressions she gains during the day. Virginia Woolf attempts to blend elements of irrationality with elements of rationality to reveal a deeper truth within her very short story Haunted House. In both cases, the reader is presented with the impression that both rationality and irrationality are required in conjunction with each other as a means of reaching the fundamental truths of human existence.In The Garden Party, the main character Laura is seen as she helps her mother and sisters get ready for a garden party the family is throwing. In reality, it is Laura who prepares the house and grounds forthe party while her mother and sisters involve themselves completely in making themselves appear pretty. Laura’s mother tells her, I’m determined to leave everything to your children this year (Mansfield 59).