Rhetorical Analysis Of Professions For Women By Virginia Woolf

Decent Essays
Virginia Woolf 's “Professions for Women” is a speech that she wrote for an audience of women sharing her personal experiences in becoming a successful author. Written in the 1930’s, women entering the workforce was an particularly taboo subject. In a profession where monumental success is already problematic, factoring in being a woman of a patriarchal society makes it virtually impossible. Throughout the entirety of the speech, there are various stylistic writing elements she uses to convey her message. Although the consistent contradictions take away from Woolf’s credibility, in “Professions for Women”, her strong use rhetorical devices and most of the figurative language communicates her ideas effectively.
In her speech, Woolf describes
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She clearly communicates these ideas creatively through the use of key metaphors: the angel and the empty rooms. Her first metaphor, “The Angel of the House”, is described as her phantom. The Angel prevents Woolf from expressing her true thoughts in order conform with society 's expectations of women. She symbolically kills this phantom in order to completely immerse herself in her writing: “Had [Woolf] not killed her [, the phantom,] would have killed [her]. [The Phantom] would have plucked the heart out of [her] writing ().” Thus, Virginia Woolf is clarifying that many of the obstacles women are facing are within themselves and not exclusively caused by external forces because “ It is far harder to kill a phantom than a reality().” Woolf reiterates her main point that women have the ability to succeed in a profession if they extricate themselves from a male dominated …show more content…
While her contradictions and complicated fishing metaphor weaken her point, she balances these weaknesses by compensating with strong metaphors and rhetorical devices. Woolf strategically structured her essay so that she can put herself on a level to better relate with her audience, but she also delivered it in a way so that it would inspire all women to kill their own “phantom”. Despite some setbacks in this speech, Wolf equilibrates this and accomplishes the its main purpose: to motivate young women entering a male dictated professional world to overcome obstacles and discrimination. Ultimately, Woolf inspires these women to provide success for themselves and to not succumb into what civilization expects a female professional to

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