The passage at the end of the Third Chapter in A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf deals with two major themes of this essay. The first being the ways in which women were kept down and made inferior to men, and the second being how this affected women’s writing. Woolf asserts that women were made inferior as a direct result of men’s perceived superiority. This assertment provides a new way of thinking about women’s lower position in society and the subsequent low opinion men held of women and their capabilties as writers. Woolf firmly believes that it is the prerogative of all writers to pay great heed to what is thought of them and to suffer when that opinion is negative. Because the opinion of women’s writing was negative, women could not write freely. Their minds, Woolf believes, were clouded with agendas. They had something to prove or a grudge to vindicate. This is not the ideal situation for writing, or the proper environment for genius. Therefore, through her revolutionary way of examining women’s position in society, Woolf proves that the “masculine complex” and low expectations of women impeded upon their writing process.
One major theme this essay illuminates is that of what subordinated women and how that inferiority was maintained. Woolf states, “Even in the nineteenth century a woman was not encouraged to be an artist” (55). In fact she was discouraged and made to believe such a vocation was beyond her capabilities. Here Woolf turns the issue around showing that women did not consciously choose not to become writers, but were prodded not to write by men. Woolf speculates about the affects of this discouragement saying...
... middle of paper ...
...ganized the traditional way of examining women’s position in society and it’s affect on their art. Her concept of the “masculine complex” approaches gender relations from a totally different angle. It is male superiority not female inferiority, which perpetuates this system. Men’s dominance is strong and their resistance to the women’s movement was so effective that even strong willed women were humbled. Women were further hindered by the prevailing male sentiment that they were incompetent writers. This naturally fired women’s incentive to prove their capabilities, because all artists are concerned about what others think of them. Yet, this very situation inhibits creativity and continued to prevent women from reaching their full potential. This new line of thinking explains and reexamines the forces that held women down and separated them from their genius.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- The Contempt and Bitterness of Virginia Woolf Exposed in A Room of One's Own Virginia Woolf refuses the role society prescribes her. She stands up against glass ceilings, separate spheres, and double standards-cultural institutions that create and uphold a weaker sex. In her writing, specifically "A Room of One's Own," she manifests her contempt and bitterness by advocating "it is necessary [for women] to have five hundred [pounds] a year and a lock on the door if you are to write fiction or poetry" (769).... [tags: Room of One's Own Essays]
1918 words (5.5 pages)
- Throughout history, women writers used pen names and pseudonyms to avoid the eyes of the patriarchal society. The female writers were no strangers to harsh criticism from the gender-biased readers regarding their artistic works. However such emphasis on gender discrimination coined the words, feminism and sexism, which now reflect on the past and the present conflicts. In the book A Room Of One’s Own, Virginia Woolf tracks down the history of women and fiction to find the answer. She argues, “A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction”.... [tags: A Room Of One’s Own]
835 words (2.4 pages)
- Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own Missing works cited In A Room of One's Own, Virginia Woolf ponders the plight of women throughout history. Woolf 'reads the lives of women and concludes that if a woman were to have written she would have had to overcome enormous circumstances' (Woolf xi). Woolf's initial thesis is that 'a woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction' (Woolf 4). Throughout the book, however, she develops other important conditions for artistic creation.... [tags: Virginia Woolf Room One's Own Essays]
1789 words (5.1 pages)
- Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own Though published seventy years ago, Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own holds no less appeal today than it did then. Modern women writers look to Woolf as a prophet of inspiration. In November of 1929, Woolf wrote to her friend G. Lowes Dickinson that she penned the book because she "wanted to encourage the young women–they seem to get frightfully depressed" (xiv). The irony here, of course, is that Woolf herself eventually grew so depressed and discouraged that she killed herself.... [tags: Virginia Woolf A Room of One’s Own]
1324 words (3.8 pages)
- The Scope of Woolf’s Feminism in A Room of One’s Own Missing Works Cited A highly contested statement on women and fiction, Virginia Woolf’s extended essay A Room of One’s Own has been repeatedly reviewed, critiqued, and analyzed since its publication in 1929. Arnold Bennett, an early twentieth-century novelist, and David Daiches, a literary critic who wrote an analysis entitled Virginia Woolf in 1942 (Murphy 247), were among those to attempt to extricate the themes and implications of Woolf’s complex essay.... [tags: Woolf A Room of One’s Own]
1665 words (4.8 pages)
- Woolf's Vision in A Room of One's Own Many years have lapsed sinee Virginia Woolf spoke at Newnham and Girton colleges on the subject of women and fiction. Her remarkable words are preserved for future generations of women in A Room of One's Own. This essay is the "first manifesto of the modern feminist movement" (Samuelson), and has been called "a notable preamble to a kind of feminine Declaration of Independence" (Muller 34). Woolf writes that her modest goal for this ground-breaking essay is to "encourage the young women--they seem to get fearfully depressed" (qtd.... [tags: Room of One's Own Essays]
2777 words (7.9 pages)
- 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.... [tags: Virginia Woolf Room One's Own Essays]
1688 words (4.8 pages)
- “Only the gold and silver flowed now, not from the coffers of the king, but from the purses of men who had made, say a fortune from industry, and returned, in their wills, a bounteous share of it to endow more chairs, more lectureships, more fellowships in the university where they had learnt their craft” (754). This is a quote from Virginia’s Woolf’s essay, “A Room of One’s Own”. Here she is making a point about universities and the funding that they received from men that had gone to school there.... [tags: A Room of One’s Own]
1062 words (3 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.... [tags: Room Ones Own Virginia Woolf Essays]
1656 words (4.7 pages)
- Breaking Convention in A Room of One's Own New discoveries and exciting breakthroughs are all made at the expense of contradicting old rules and ideas. In order for Earth to be round, it could no longer be flat. Revolutions in literature, science, and countries are always filled with conflicts and contradictions to traditional conventions. In this sense, Virgina Woolf's essay A Room of One's Own can be called a revolution. Woolf breaks nearly all the rules of essay writing in her argumentative essay.... [tags: Room of One's Own Essays]
1332 words (3.8 pages)