In A Room of One's Own the narrator begins an exploration of women in literature. She attempts to answer many questions regarding women. The first being why is literature about women written by men. She also critiques the scholarship of the great men of literature.
In chapter two, the narrator goes to the British Museum in search of answers. During research, she uncovers that women are common topics of literature. However, none of the literature written about them is penned by women. When she reveals her findings for the definition of woman, she uses words such as weak, inferior, vane, and etc. that define woman. I think the narrator uses these words to emphasize the way men perceive women as being the weaker sex.
She then talks about great men such as Mussolini, Pope, Napoleon and Goethe and how they viewed women. After discovering their opinions, the narrator is bewildered at her findings. These men are praised for their philosophies and wisdom, yet they all view women as being inferior. The narrator is pointing towards the fact that these men in reality are quite ignorant. During th...
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...omes up as to what is chastity? Poll declares that chastity is nothing but ignorance. It is decided that it is unfair to brand women based on their chasteness. I think Woolf raises the question of chastity in order to point the follies of men. They write dissertations and books regarding the subject, but they seem to be clueless as to what it is. Yet, women are able establish that it is not of importance. The story ends with the women still questioning the importance of intellect.
Marder, Herbert. Feminism and Art: A Study of Virginia Woolf. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1968.
Woolf, Virginia. "A Room of One's Own." The Norton Anthology of World
Masterpieces. Vol. 2. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 1999. 1619-1638.
Woolf, Virginia. "A Society." Monday or Tuesday. New York: Harcourt, Brace and Company, Inc.,1921. 14-35.
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