In the predominantly male worlds of Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own and Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s “Aurora Leigh (Book I)”, the women’s voices are muted. Female characters are confined to the domestic spheres of their homes, and they are excluded from the elite literary world. They are expected to function as foils to the male figures in their lives. These women are “trained” to remain silent and passive not only by the males around them, but also by their parents, their relatives, and their peers. Willingly or grudgingly, the women in Woolf and Browning’s works are regulated to the domestic circle, discouraged from the literary world, and are expected to act as foils to their male counterparts.
Without the means of securing financial independence, women are confined to the world of domestic duties. In Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own, Mary Seton’s “homely” mother is neither a businesswoman nor a magnate on the Stock Exchange. She cannot afford to provide formal education for her daughters or for herself. Without money, the women must toil day and night at home, with no time for learned conversations about “archaeology, botany, anthropology, physics, the nature of the atom, mathematics, astronomy, relativity, geography” – the subjects of the men’s conversations (26). As Woolf notes, if Mary’s mother had gone into business, there would have been no Mary. Children are financial burdens and they make heavy demands on a mother’s time. It is impossible that a mother could feed and play with their children while making money, because women are expected to raise large families; they are the ones who carry o...
... middle of paper ...
And muted the women are, in A Room of One’s Own and “Aurora Leigh”. They cannot vocalize their opinions, wants, and needs when they are confined to their homes and discouraged from joining the predominantly male literary circles. Moreover, females are expected to act as foils to the males so that the patriarchal societies may flourish. Coleridge once said that a great mind is androgynous (Woolf, 106). When the men and women can cooperate and unite their minds and bodies, Shakespeare’s gifted sister will be able to re-emerge, freeing the muted voices of these oppressed women.
Woolf, Virginia. A Room of One’s Own. London: Flamingo, 1994.
Browning, Elizabeth Barrett. “Aurora Leigh”. 1856. Correspondence Course Notes: ENGL 205*S Selected Women Writers I, Spring-Summer 2003, pp. 26, 27.
Kingston, ON: Queen’s University, 2003.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- A flame of passion is contained within the heart, yet is love contained in a mere flame of passion. This timeless saying embodies the ultimate declaration of love written by Elizabeth Barrett Browning. “How Do I Love Thee. Let me Count the Ways” is a poem bathed in rhyme and inundated in sentimental avowals. This sonnet shows the perpetual love that Browning shares with her husband and how that love can never be destroyed by any power of human or spiritual nature (Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s: Sonnet 45).... [tags: Elizabeth Barrett Browning Poem]
1159 words (3.3 pages)
- “If you desire faith, then you have faith enough.” (qtd. in Elizabeth Browning). Elizabeth Barrett Browning had strong faith in her ability to love someone and write great love poetry. She is most remembered for her Sonnets from the Portuguese. Elizabeth opened the door for many future women become great literary authors. Elizabeth is remembered for her life, marriage, and love sonnets. Elizabeth was born on March 6, 1806 in England. Elizabeth was oldest of eleven children. Her parents were Edward Barrett Moulton Barrett and Mary Graham Clarke.... [tags: faith, female poets]
896 words (2.6 pages)
- Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s “The Runaway Slave at Pilgrim’s Point" and "A Castaway" In the early Victorian period, a number of poems were composed which served to highlight a specific troubled spot in society. The poets often wrote for human rights groups and the like in order to convey a message to those members of society who could make a difference, namely, the educated white men. Among these poems is Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s “The Runaway Slave at Pilgrim’s Point.” This piece deals with a female slave who has killed her newborn son and fled to Pilgrim’s Point, where she speaks of her feelings leading up to the present moment.... [tags: Elizabeth Browning Runaway Slave Essays]
1644 words (4.7 pages)
- Elizabeth Barrett Moulton-Barrett was born March 6, 1806 in Durham, England to Edward Barrett Moulton-Barrett and Mary Graham Clarke. She was the eldest of twelve. Her father made the family fortune from a sugar plantation. In 1809, the Barretts moved to an estate called Hope End in England. Elizabeth Barrett’s childhood was spent happily at the family’s home in England. She had no formal education, learning solely from her brother’s tutor and from her continuous reading. She managed over the years to learn Greek, Latin, Hebrew, French, Italian, German, and Spanish.... [tags: Essays Papers]
1294 words (3.7 pages)
- “A woman cannot do the things she ought, which means whatever perfect thing she can, in life, in art, in science, but fears to let the perfect action take her part and rest there: she must prove what she can do before she does it.” –Quote from Elizabeth Barrette Browning Elizabeth’s life was not what one would consider easy. Elizabeth Barrette was only at the tender age of 10 when she was reading William Shakespeare; she was a self-taught student, and a brilliant one at that.... [tags: Elizabeth Barrette Browning, feminism, ]
1373 words (3.9 pages)
- Elizabeth Barrett Browning's Biography Throughout the course of Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s life, poetry played the hand of fate. All of the major events that took place in her life seem to coincide with her poetry. Poetry made her famous. It gave her solace, and comfort, somewhere to drown her sorrow. It introduced her to her husband, and (indirectly) divorced her from her father. Poetry was not only a part of her life, but an integral part of her soul. Creative Beginnings It all began in Gosforth Church, with the marriage of Mary Graham Clarke, and Robert Moulton.... [tags: Biography Biographies Browning Essays]
1748 words (5 pages)
- Elizabeth Barrett Browning Elizabeth Barrett Browning was born Elizabeth Barrett Moulton-Barrett at Coxhoe Hall, Durham County on March 6, 1806. She was one of twelve children. Her parents, Edward Moulton-Barrett and Mary Graham Clarke Moulton-Barrett had eight sons and four daughters. Between 1809 and 1814 Elizabeth began writing poetry. In 1818 she wrote “The Battle of Marathon” and in 1820 her father had it published. When Elizabeth was fifteen years of age, she developed an illness and was prescribed Opium, which began her lifelong Opium habit.... [tags: essays papers]
742 words (2.1 pages)
- Petrarchan sonnets are like all the other typical sonnets in the early sixteenth which consist of 14 verses in the poem and 10 syllables per line. In comparison, they all instigate the traditional theme of love where women were admired and sometimes worshipped in order to express deep love that emissaries her beauty. However, Petrarchan sonnet could not said be too congruent to sixteenth style of writing sonnets. Nevertheless, they share identical theme in the sonnets which is the traditional theme of love where Petrarchan sonnets uses clichés in order to describe his mistress as “lucid gold” and her smile as “angelic smile”.... [tags: Sonnet 130, sonnet 14]
1338 words (3.8 pages)
- Elizabeth Barrett Browning's "How Do I love thee?" This poem by Elizabeth Barrett Browning is one of many she penned for her husband Robert Browning. Using the basic form of an Italian sonnet with its fourteen lines and strict rhyme scheme - she manages to produce a surprisingly passionate poem. The poet begins with the question, "How do I love thee?"-and it is this which sets the mood of the sonnet, as she tries to quantify, and articulate the depth of her feelings towards her husband. She uses biblical references and religious similes throughout the verse, comparing and equating her love to be as unconditional and pure -as like unto God's.... [tags: Browning How Love Thee Essays Papers]
1006 words (2.9 pages)
The Attitudes Towards Love in To His Coy Mistress by Andrew Marvell and Sonnet by Elizabeth Barrett-Browning
- The Attitudes Towards Love in To His Coy Mistress by Andrew Marvell and Sonnet by Elizabeth Barrett-Browning ‘Sonnet’ by Elizabeth Barrett-Browning and ‘To His Coy Mistress’ by Andrew Marvell are both poems which explore love. . . different loves. Fun Andrew Marvell’s carpe diem displays an openly sexual lust when compared to serious Elizabeth Barrett-Browning’s both serious and intense lyric poem. It seems as if the sonnet expresses a much more pure, and in areas, religious and romantic view towards love than ‘To His Coy Mistress.’ This essay is going to discuss both poets’ attitudes towards love and explore their different approaches.... [tags: Papers]
1307 words (3.7 pages)