Woolf's Underlying Attitude Towards Women's Place in Society Essay

922 Words Oct 25th, 2007 4 Pages
Few works address the complex lives of women and literature like Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own, an essay that explores the history of women in literature through an investigation of the material and social conditions required for the writing of literature. Woolf, born in 1882, grew up in a time period in which women were only just beginning to gain significant rights. Likewise, the outbreak of WWI left a mark on the world that Woolf lived in and also affected the literary style of many writers at the time. In her essay, Woolf presents two passages that describe two different meals that she receives during two university visits; the first passage describes the first meal that was served at a men's college, while the second passage …show more content…
Woolf's use of figurative language in both passages also differ to a large degree. When referring to the dishes served at the men's college, Woolf uses stronger and more vivid imagery and metaphors than those used in Passage II. In Passage I, Woolf describes the men's meal, "the lunch on this occasion began with soles, sunk in a deep dish, over which the college cook had spread a counterpane of the whitest cream, save that it was branded here and there with brown spots on the flanks of a doe" (ll. 10-14). Passage II also provides a review of a meal at the women's college, "Next came beef with its attendant greens and potatoes―a homely trinity, suggesting the rumps of cattle in a muddy market" (ll. 45-47). The meal description provided by Passage I reveals a pleasant and delicious image that attracts the reader, but the portrait painted by the observations of Passage II is dull and simple. Likewise, Woolf compares the men's meal to the pleasant doe, whereas in Passage II Woolf compares the meal to the more rugged camel. Woolf through these metaphors and vivid descriptions portray the men's dish as more graceful in nature and appearance than that of the women's. Her use of figurative language helps make Woolf's theme that women receive less than men stand out clearly. Another distinguishable

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