Analysis of Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own

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Analysis of Virginia Woolf’s "A Room of One’s Own"

Throughout history, female artists have not been strangers to harsh criticism regarding their artistic works. Some female artists are fortunate to even receive such criticism; many have not achieved success in sharing their works with the world. In Virgina Woolf’s third chapter of her essay “A Room of One’s Own,” Woolf addresses the plight of the woman writer, specifically during the Elizabethan time period of England. Woolf helps the reader appreciate her view on how stifling and difficult this time period was for women and how what little creativity emerged would have been distorted in some way. Through a number of claims, examples and other literary techniques, Woolf is able to present her argument in a structured, coherent and persuasive manner, which is compelling in drawing in the reader.

Woolf uses the first person narrative in her essay to provide a “personal” feeling to evoke feelings of sympathy and deep reflection about the treatment of these women, like Woolf is speaking directly to the reader. At the beginning of the text, Woolf tells her tale of coming home from an intellectual discussion of some sort, slightly disconcerted with the fact that there are no known female writers during the Elizabethan time period. Women during that time period had no way to express their creativity. Woolf explains how they were shackled by society, how the efforts of women as artists would go completely unnoticed due to their inferiority in society.

There is a negative or a depressed tone throughout her essay. She shows her dissatisfaction in the very beginning of the essay by saying, “it was disappointing not to have brought back in the evening some important statem...

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...on. She does not jump from subject to subject; she develops all of her claims fully and supports those claims with concrete evidence. She poses questions to the reader that makes the reader really think about the issue she is raising.

Woolf’s essay presents the reader with a subject that, although not contemporary, makes the reader aware of the history surrounding the issue. Through Woolf’s use of claims and supporting evidence, the reader takes on Woolf’s view, understanding how serious of a situation this in fact is. It makes one question what exactly happened to those women authors. This is what an effective text accomplishes, raises pertinent questions by providing examples, even though it may not have concrete answers, it sparks the creative mind of the reader.

Works Cited

Woolf, Virginia. A Room of One’s Own. New York: Harcourt Brace, 1957.
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