Professions For Women By Virginia Woolf Summary

analytical Essay
1445 words
1445 words

In the Broadview Anthropology of Expository Prose, Buzzard et al. describe Virginia Woolf’s essay “Professions for Women” as a “lecture to a society of professional women” (100). As a queer writer, Woolf’s voice during the 1930’s received much attention, along with praise and criticism. Woolf’s fight for women’s empowerment and gender equality are evident throughout her essay, and as of now, in the 21st century, it is unequivocal that Woolf saw herself as a feminist. However, as Woolf writes her “Professions for women” she makes use of the blanket terms “the woman” and “herself” to refer to a general professional woman. It leads us to question who the woman really is: which kinds of individuals are included in and excluded from Woolf’s filtered view of women. How does …show more content…

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how woolf's essay "professions for women" is a lecture to professional women. she uses the blanket terms "the woman" and "herself" to refer to the general professional woman.
  • Analyzes how woolf's essay introduces "the woman" as her subject, but does she go far enough to critique the effects of patriarchy on feminine gender?
  • Analyzes how woolf's self-evaluation of her profession tells us about her views on women who are not like her.
  • Analyzes woolf's essay on "killing the angel in the house" as a heteronormative, sexist, feminine ideal built by patriarchy.
  • Argues that woolf's feminism focuses on women by themselves, rather than pitting them against men.

What does Woolf fail to address in her feminist stance, and how do her oversights affect not only her credibility, but how certain women view themselves? As Woolf narrates her essay in first-person, she introduces “the woman” as her subject. Woolf claims that “the woman” is who remains after killing the Angel in the House (102). Now, we may wonder what kind of woman “the woman” is. Woolf answers this question herself by saying, “I assure you, I do not know. I do not believe that you know” (102). Of course, it is clear what Woolf’s uncertainty implies: since women are shaped by the patriarchal society to be nothing but the Angel in the House, once that Angel is killed, we do not know anything of the capabilities, personality, weaknesses, and strengths of the true woman. Although Woolf’s implication is a fair critique of the effects of patriarchy on feminine gender, does Woolf go far enough in such critique as

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