Women And Creativity In Virginia Woolf's A Room Of Ones Own

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Women and Creativity in Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own Virginia Woolf’s essay A Room of One’s Own explores the topic of women in fiction. More specifically, why there is a lack of women in fiction and what women need to be considered “great” writers. She asserts that if women had been afforded the same economic and social freedom as men, they too would have had a great literary tradition. But because of societal pressures, women were not able to fulfill their literary ambitions. Woolf essay claims that neither sex is to blame for the marginalization of women writers and ultimately the goal of a writer is to transcend gender with their texts. However in their essays When We Dead Awaken: Writing as Re-Vision and In Search of Our Mother’s…show more content…
Rich writes, “It is in the tone of a woman almost in touch with her anger, who is determined not to appear angry, who is willing herself to be calm and detached, and even charming in a roomful of men where things have been said which are attacks on her very integrity...she is acutely conscious-as she always was-of being overheard by men” (Rich 20). Rich articulates that Woolf, even while writing about women in fiction, was not able to free herself from male criticism. Her attempts to appeal to women but not displease men lead her essay to be less effective than it could have…show more content…
Her text, which was originally a speech for a women’s college, takes on the topic of the inequality between male and female writers and she makes a point to highlight how this inequality has been suffocating to many female authors. However there are many passages that seem to have been written specifically with male critique in mind. Her inability to write without this bias, keep her essay from rising above contrary instincts and patriarchal norms. Woolf writes “the blame for all of this, if one is anxious to lay blame, rests no more upon one sex than upon the other (Woolf 102). When Woolf says neither is to blame, she is upholding the patriarchal control of literature and not acknowledging men 's role in the oppression of women and their creative abilities. Additionally, the insertion of “if one is anxious to lay blame” shows how she keeps a cool and detached tone and tries not to sound angry. This, as Rich wrote, is a tactic to seem more reasonable to males. In some ways, both Rich and Walker claim Woolf as their predecessor. However by addressing her shortcomings, they work to expand on her ideas of female creativity. Rich and Walker were more aware than Woolf of how male influence can affect a woman’s work and how that influence can stunt a full exploration of femininity. Walker does more to bring awareness to a female creative history. Rather than showing how women can be creative, she shows how women have been
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