The Contrast of Virginia Woolf and Alice Walker Essay

The Contrast of Virginia Woolf and Alice Walker Essay

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The Contrast of Virginia Woolf and Alice Walker

After reading the four essays assigned to this sequence, it
becomes interesting to contrast two author's points of view
on the same subject. Reading one professional writer's
rewriting of a portion of another professional writer's essay
brings out many of each of their characteristics and views.
Also, the difference in writing styles could be drastic, or
slight. Nevertheless, the writers display how versatile the
English language can be.

Alice Walker was born in 1944 as a farm girl in Georgia.
Virginia Woolf was born in London in1882. They have both
come to be highly recognized writers of their time, and they
both have rather large portfolios of work. The scenes the
might have grown up seeing and living through may have
greatly influenced their views of subjects which they both
seem to write about. In her essay "In Search of Our
Mothers' Gardens," Alice Walker speaks first about the
untouchable faith of the black women of the
post-Reconstruction South. She speaks highly of the faith
and undying hope of these women and their families. She
even comes to recognize them as saints as she describes
their faith as "so intense, deep, unconscious, the they
themselves were unaware of the richness they held" (Walker
694).

In a passage in which she speaks about the treatment and
social status of the women of the sixteenth century, Woolf
explains that a woman who might have had a truly great gift
in this time "would have surely gone crazy, shot herself, or
ended up in some lonely cottage on the outside of town, half
witch, half wizard, feared and mocked" (Woolf 749). Her
use of some of these powerful nominative shows that she
feels strongly about what she is writing. Also for her, life
growing up and stories she may have heard may have
influenced this passage greatly. In her passage she imagines
what it may have been like had William Shakespeare had a
sister. She notices how difficult it would be even given the
same talents as Shakespeare himself, to follow throughout
and utilize them in her life.

It is clear after reading further into Woolf's passage that
obviously she lived in a different time period, only about fifty
years apart though. The way she relates and tells a very
similar story with an entirely different setting shows without
the reader even knowing that she wa...


... middle of paper ...


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Whether this style that Virginia Woolf uses is correct or not,
it is powerful and it pauses the reader and , most
importantly, helps the reader think in exactly the same
manner as she was when she wrote it. The pauses she
experienced in her thoughts when she wrote the story about
the story about the writer's sister are simulated and relived
when the reader crosses them.

Both writers do a fine job of stressing the morals in their
writing. The reader can, in Walker's essay, put himself in the
first person and imagine the South very easily because of
how descriptive she is in her narration. The reader of
Woolf's essay clearly can understand and come to realize the
unfairness and downright cruelty of the pure neglect of
hidden talent among many women throughout time. She does
this through simply telling a good story. This perhaps show
that Virginia Woolf may have been fond of Walker's work.
Woolf chooses to clearly state and agree with the same
points Walker makes and shows the ideas in a different light
because indeed she is a different person with different
attributes. This shows up dominantly in her rewriting of
Walker's "In Search of Our Mothers' Gardens."

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