Virginia Woolf was a very powerful and imaginative writer. In a "Room of Ones Own" she takes her motivational views about women and fiction and weaves them into a story. Her story is set in a imaginary place where here audience can feel comfortable and open their minds to what she is saying. In this imaginary setting with imaginary people Woolf can live out and see the problems women faced in writing. Woolf also goes farther by breaking many of the rules of writing in her essay. She may do this to show that the standards can be broken, and to encourage more women to write. An example of this is in the very first line when Woolf writes, "But, you may say, we asked you to speak about women and fiction—what has that got to do with a room of one’s own(719)?" Why did Woolf start her story of like that? Maybe it was to show how different women really were from men. By starting out with this completely unconventional opening sentence she was already showing that the rules could be broken.
Woolf starts her essay by explaining to her audience what she could have talked about and what other things her topic might mean, she is letting the audience be drawn in to her consciousness. Woolf wants them to know why she decided to use this topic instead of some less meaningful one, that may have made for a good speech but would not have really covered the full scope of the problem. Woolf said:
They just might mean simply a few remarks about Fanny Burney; a few more about Jane Austen; a tribute to the Brontes and a sketch of Haworth Parsonage under snow; some witticisms if possible about Miss Mitford; a respectful allusion to George Eliot; a reference to Mrs. Gaskell and one would have done. But at second sight the words seemed not so simple (719).
Woolf wanted her essay to be different and break away from the conventions created by men. She even tells her audience that she is going to break away from conventions in this part of her essay, "It is part of the novelist’s conventions not to mention soup and salmon and ducklings, as if soup and salmon and ducklings were of no importance whatsoever, as if nobody ever smoked a cigar or drank a glass of wine. Here, however, I shall take the liberty of defying that convention(724)…"
Woolf also explains the duties of a speaker stating, "One can only give one’s audienc...
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... show them that the are being held back. She does this by telling them what Napoleon once thought of them and what Mussolini thinks now. She even quotes Mr. John Langdon Davis who warned women "that when children cease to be altogether desirable, women cease to be altogether necessary (742)." She even calls them "disgracefully ignorant," and reminds them that they have never led an army, ran a country, or made a important discovery. Woolf wants her listeners to leave with a sense of responsibility to improve their race.
Woolf’s lecture has many changes in it and each one serve a different purpose. She starts out slow and nice, describes the scenery and makes a comfortable place for her listeners to open up their minds, and by breaking many conventions she shows anything can be done in writing even by a women. Once she has them in this imaginary world, she could then preach about the problem without scaring anybody off. By the end, she could go as far as calling them "disgracefully ignorant," just to pump them up. Woolf took a very sensitive subject and used her imagination to create a world where her audience could comfortable listen to it.
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