Virginia Woolf, prolific novelist, essayist and critic, delivered “Professions for Women” as a speech before the National Society for Women’s Service on January 21, 1931. Her address highlighted the obstacles facing professional women while emphasizing the pressure placed on women by Victorian standards and expectations. Woolf’s purpose was to empower the solely female audience and to illuminate the simplicity in creating a career, despite the obstacles through outlining her personal experience.
Woolf begins the speech by creating a self-effacing tone by undermining her qualifications to speak before the National Society for Women’s Service. She creates the attitude that her story of entering a profession is unprofound, which in turn implies that any woman within the audience can achieve similar success. Furthermore, to continue the tone, Woolf classifies writing as “harmless.” She expands this description of writing by explaining that the profession does not disrupt her family and it does not require expensive materials unlike other careers. Woolf sustains her claim that writing is harmless by utilizing logic. She claims, “The cheapness of writing paper, is of course, the reason why women have succeeded as writes before they have succeeded in other professions.” This logic explains why women have been able to emerge as writers, which depicts to the audience how achievable becoming a writer is.
Woolf introduces a personal anecdote in the beginning of the second paragraph. However, she utilizes the third person in order to allow the audience to imagine themselves as Woolf, which creates a bridge between Woolf and the audience. Woolf emphasizes the simplicity of her rise into her profession by employing concise diction, which...
... middle of paper ...
... Also, Woolf uses the pronoun “we” to unite the female gender in battling these obstacles. Finally, in order to conclude her message Woolf creates an extended metaphor. Woolf speaks of women’s possession of empty rooms, by first explaining the work put into paying the rent. She then challenges the audience to fill the empty rooms with their achievements, which should be shared. This metaphor reinforces to the audience her message to encourage women to become fulfilled with accomplishments. Finally to conclude the speech, Woolf states, “My time is up; I must cease.” This sentence creates closure to the multifaceted piece and ties the speech together.
Virginia Woolf shares her story of success to the National Society for Women’s Service in order to empower and inspire the women within the audience to dismantle the Angel in the House and pursue their professional goals.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- In the Broadview Anthropology of Expository Prose, Buzzard et al. describe Virginia Woolf’s essay “Professions for Women” as a “lecture to a society of professional women” (100). As a queer writer, Woolf’s voice during the 1930’s received much attention, along with praise and criticism. Woolf’s fight for women’s empowerment and gender equality are evident throughout her essay, and as of now, in the 21st century, it is unequivocal that Woolf saw herself as a feminist. However, as Woolf writes her “Professions for women” she makes use of the blanket terms “the woman” and “herself” to refer to a general professional woman.... [tags: Feminism, Gender, Woman, Sociology]
1445 words (4.1 pages)
- Virginia Woolf, prolific novelist, essayist and critic, delivered “Professions for Women” as a speech before the National Society for Women’s Service on January 21, 1931. Her address highlighted the obstacles facing professional women while emphasizing the pressure placed on women by Victorian standards and expectations. Woolf’s purpose was to empower the solely female audience and to illuminate the simplicity in creating a career, despite the obstacles through outlining her personal experience.... [tags: Woman, Female, Gender, Girl]
1465 words (4.2 pages)
- Overcoming Obstacles in Life is Essential to Helping Overall Success Have you ever wondered if there could possibly be overwhelming obstacles in the way of someone being truly successful in life. Some may witness friends or loved ones not developing to their fullest potential in their profession because of these unobtainable obstacles holding them back. In “Professions for Women,” by Virginia Woolf, Woolf gives a speech to a group of women explaining why they must overcome certain things in order to be successful in their future professional careers.... [tags: Woman, Female, Rhetoric, Appeal]
1225 words (3.5 pages)
- Discussed in the article “Professions for Women” by Virginia Woolf are the obstacles women face when trying to become a professional writer. Woof narrates her challenges to becoming a writer by explaining the many negative thoughts she faces as well as thinking about how the experience is while working in a field that consists of many men. Through her essay, Woolf explains her lifestyle as a writer by cheerfully conveying the idea of what needs to be accomplished in order for one to achieve their desired profession.... [tags: Mind, Thought, Idea, Cognition]
1016 words (2.9 pages)
- ... “You are able, though not without great labour and effort, to pay the rent. You are earning your five hundred pounds a year. But this freedom is only a beginning—the room is your own, but it is still bare. It has to be furnished; it has to be decorated; it has to be shared.” In this, she not only speaks of the physical rooms itself that these women are finally able to afford due to their own efforts, but the “rooms” or empty spaces in these women’s identities and the difficult task that they face in confronting old traditions and perspectives so that they are able to reconcile their past with their view of their future.... [tags: society, desire, metaphor]
874 words (2.5 pages)
- Human beings find the expected so comforting. People want to be prepared for any catastrophe and keep chaos in the world under control, but this strategy is flawed. In the conquest for control, humans have created an ideal of how life should be, and phantoms are formed from this ideal. Doris Lessing’s “To Room Nineteen” and Under Milk Wood by Dylan Thomas are both examples of how different people live with ambiguity. However, Virginia Woolf’s “Professions for Women” most clearly explains how society’s ideals affect its members.... [tags: ideals, society, ambiguity, control, expected]
814 words (2.3 pages)
- Women's Roles During Times of War and Virginia Woolf's Three Guineas With the prevalence of war goddesses in most traditions from China to Greece to Ireland, women have been separated from the front lines of war for centuries. The goddesses, the divine representations of women in the ideal, are torn between dual roles: that of Minerva, the goddess of wisdom and just war, and that of Vesta, goddess of hearth and home. These two roles, warrior and mother, are not necessarily as very different as they might appear at first glance.... [tags: Virginia Woolf Three Guineas Women Essays]
2929 words (8.4 pages)
- Virginia Woolf's inspiring work tries to take on many problems in regard to women's work. She takes into consideration comparisons between women's and men's privilleges. Man's greatest advantages over woman would be their chances and opportunities to succeed and the chance to express themselves. Woolf believes , that wealth and a room of one's own is necessary in order to attain intellectual freedom is incorrect and misleading as it does not take into consideration education, having a good self esteem, access to all resources, not having domestic hindrances.... [tags: women´s work, Virginia Woolf]
975 words (2.8 pages)
- Born in 1882 Virginia Woolf is a noted novelist and essayist, prominent for her nonlinear prose style and feminist writings. Her essay “Professions for Women” designed as a speech to be given at the Women’s Service League in 1931, informs her audience of the powerful internal dispute she and other women face in an attempt to live their everyday lives as women living in a masculine controlled society, especially within the careers they desire. Woolf adopted an urgent and motherly tone in order to reach her female audience in 1931 during her speech and in response her audience gathered.... [tags: Rhetoric, Writing, Emotion, Woman]
1202 words (3.4 pages)
- At the time Virginia Woolf wrote The Years and Three Guineas, there were many differences between men and women, one of which was education. Most women were not educated, which prevented them from entering into agency. Women allowed themselves to be played by history. In order for them to change a world that was dominated by men, women needed to refuse what history said was their essence, and rather, use that essence to create critical ways of being in the world. The photograph, "a crudely colored photograph--of your world as it appears to us who see it from the threshold of the private house; through the shadow of the veil that St.... [tags: American Literature Virginia Woolf]
2563 words (7.3 pages)