A Room of Ones Own by Virginia Woolf Essay example

1652 Words 7 Pages
A Room of Ones Own by Virginia Woolf

In 1928, Virginia Woolf was asked to speak on the topic of “women and fiction”. The result, based upon two essays she delivered at Newnham and Girton that year, was A Room of One’s Own, which is an extended essay on women as both writers of fiction and as characters in fiction. While Woolf suggests that, “when a subject is highly controversial-and any question about sex is that-one cannot hope to tell the truth,” (Woolf 4) her essay is, in fact, a thought out and insightful reflection on the topic. The main point she offers is that a woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction. Within the essay Woolf centers on the economic constraints that society inflicts on women,
…show more content…
Also, for instance, if the father was to pass away, his money would go to the next male in line in the family instead of any women. Such was the case also in both Jane Eyre and Wide Sargasso Sea. Mr. Rochester is pushed into marriage with Bertha because she is thought to have a great wealth. This would, in turn, become his money once they are married.

During the essays, Woolf is careful not to fully blame men for the unfair treatment of women. Any blame she does bestow on them, she attributes their actions to the times and culture. At one point she states, “Life for both sexes-and I looked at them, shouldering their way along the pavement-is arduous, difficult, a perpetual struggle.” (Woolf 34) By taking on this cultural perspective, Woolf is careful not to point the blame fully on men.

In chapter 3, Woolf offers the idea of an imaginary character by the name of Judith Shakespeare, who is the fictional sister of William Shakespeare. It is very possible that Judith is as intelligent as her brother, but the only education that she receives is the one that she gives herself. What little she does write she chooses to hide or burn in fear of getting caught. Woolf mentions a bishop who declared that it was impossible for women, past, present or to come, to have the genius of Shakespeare. She goes on to say, “Be as it may, I could not help thinking, as I looked at the works of Shakespeare on the shelf, that the bishop was right at least in this; it

Related Documents