For the time being, I don't know what to make of Orlando's sudden sex change (a satire or a more 'literal' version of Freud's idea about the development of a feminine identity? an absurd situation in which the character is trapped, as in existentialist works? a grotesque change of perspective, change of role which forces the protagonist to rethink his/her own former views? a depiction of Vita's different sexual roles, the inspiration for "Orlando"? an exploration of gender and the differences between the 2 sexes? pure comedy? etc.)
1 thing I find striking is that Orlando, after a 7-day sleep, wakes up to find himself transformed into a woman and yet shows no sign of perturbation or confusion. Orlando doesn't even pay it much thought, but gets dressed (unisex clothes) and goes on with his/her life, and albeit leaving his/her place, does it as if in a trance and lives as if no change occurred. Such reaction is remarkably similar to Gregor's reaction when he turns into an insect in "The metamorphosis".
Any chance Virginia Woolf thought of Franz Kafka when writing this passage?
Or is it random?
Or were they inspired by the same source?