Poetry in Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own Essay

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Poetry in Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own

According to Laurence Perrine, author of Literature: Structure, Sound, and Sense, "poetry is as universal as language and almost as ancient"; however, "people have always been more successful at appreciating poetry than at defining it" (517). Perrine initially defines poetry as "a kind of language that says more and says it more intensely than does ordinary language" (517). After defining literature as writing concerned with experience which allows us to imaginatively participate in it (518-19), Perrine adds, "poetry takes all life as its province" (522); no sharp distinction between poetry and other forms of imaginative literature exists (523); and "poetry . . . is a kind of
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In A Room of One's Own, Woolf, who claims that the poetry in women is still denied outlet (77), creates memorable scenes in the essay by employing poetic techniques such as figurative language, musical devices, and rhythm and meter.

Woolf's effective use of figurative language involves the reader in scenes portraying the educational discrimination still suffered by women. Perrine explains figurative language as "language that cannot be taken literally (or should not be taken literally only)" (571). Woolf's figurative language includes metaphors, implicit comparisons between two things essentially unlike" (1463); similes, explicit comparisons between two things essentially unlike (1463); personifications, attributing human characteristics to an animal, object, or concept (1462); and metonymy, some significant aspect or detail of an experience is used to represent the whole of experience (1461). Woolf creates many metaphors, but when she represents Mary Beton's idea as a fish, she creates metaphor that literally takes the reader fishing in her essay in hope of catching her elusive idea. More importantly, this metaphor demonstrates that thinking and encountering ideas causes women to overstep the boundaries set by men and makes those women seem like fish

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