• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

A comparison of language and change in Woolf's A Room of One's Own and Wollstonecraft's A Vindications of the Rights of Woman.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

A comparison of language and change in Woolf's A Room of One's Own and Wollstonecraft's A Vindications of the Rights of Woman. Mary Wollstonecraft's A Vindication of the Rights of Woman was published in 1792, a period of radical reform in the wake of the French Revolution, and one of the first examples of feminist literature. Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own, written over a century later and published in 1929, appeared in the wake of several feminist movements, the Suffragettes of the previous century and women being given the same voting rights as men just a year before, a result from women's involvement in the First World War. Both texts are in the form of an extended essay, in the written mode, with the purpose to inform and persuade. The audience for both texts is primarily the higher classes, educated people with the money to send their children to private schools, hence the discussion of schooling in both text excerpts. An immediate discrepancy is apparent in both texts; though both address an educated audience, the levels of formality differ. ...read more.

Middle

The use of semi-colons to create verbose complex sentences are in direct contrast to Woolf's frequently shorter compound and complex sentences, despite even employing numerous semi-colons; "I need not say that what I am about to describe has no existence; Oxbridge is an invention; so is Fernham; 'I' is merely a convenient term for somebody who has no real being." Woolf's sentences, being shorter, remain more coherent than Wollstonecraft's frequently prolix passages, reflect a change in the standard of accessibility of texts, a 20th Century audience demanding concise information opposed to the 18th Century style of formal and complex language (indeed, the Romantic poetry movement of Wollstonecraft's era called for an end to the 'pretentious' and exclusive styles of writing favoured by authors of the time). Woolf also uses grammar in the lowering of her tenor, using the second person pronoun "you" to refer to the reader directly, something the Wollstonecraft text declines to do, as well employing the impartial first person "one" ("One can only give one's audience...") for an aloof, comedic effect. Though the use of 'one' may be expected in the archaic, more formal text of Wollstonecraft, it is omitted. ...read more.

Conclusion

However, their use differs; Wollstonecraft keeps the references short and aims to compliment the emotional appeals used in a persuasive text, whereas Woolf is highly literary and employs rhetoric in her descriptions, rich in modifiers, personification and latinate language; "To the right and left bushes of some sort, goldren and crimson, glowed with the colour, even it seemed burnt with heat, of fire. On the further bank the willows wept in perpetual lamentation, their hair about their shoulders." Woolf's inclusion of the semantic field in her rhetoric again suggests a more relaxed attitude towards language in the 20th Century compared to the 18th - considering the 'groundbreaking' natural philosophy and metaphysical aspects of Wollstonecraft's comtemporaries' poetry (the Romantics, such as Wordsworth, Keats and Shelley), it is hardly surprising there is a lack of richly decorated language and personification in Rights of Woman; as a persuasive text, it would not have been taken seriously. Lexically, further differences show a change in language. Wollstonecraft frequently makes use of emotional lexis, such as; "...the physical and moral evils that torment mankind, as well as of the vices and follies that degrade and destroy women..." This suggests that what influences language has also changed. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Language: Context, Genre & Frameworks section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Language: Context, Genre & Frameworks essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Analysis of Rhetoric in "Into the Wild" by Jon Krakauer

    5 star(s)

    Alaska underprepared, Krakaeur recalls when McCandless survived in Mexico with limited supplies, recounting ?For that entire period he subsisted on nothing but five pounds of rice and what marine life he could pull from the sea, an experience that would later convince him he could survive on similarly meager rations in the Alaska bush? (36).

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Investigating how language has changed in children's literature; in relation to interaction between ...

    5 star(s)

    attempts to create the impression of direct dialogue with the reader; she maintains the role of 'story teller'. * Due to the fact that "The Doctor's" character is not technically new when this description is written (as he has been mentioned and been present in previous chapters)

  1. Investigation into Gender Differences in the Language of Personal Profiles on Dating Websites

    However the high percentage of women specifying that their partner must be funny contradicts this, as an individual without a sense of humour is unlikely to value wit in a partner. Another attribute that seems to be more highly valued in males is to be "hardworking".

  2. An analysis of variations in style in comparison to Standard English.

    What happens is that the voiced consonants 'b', 'd', 'g', 'v', 'z' and 'j' change to their voiceless counterpart 'p', 't', 'k', 'f', 's', and 'ch' if they occur immediately before any of these same voiceless consonants.11 The examples "E wood goh" ("He would go")

  1. NOTHING'S GONNA CHANGE

    I ignored that look, instead, i knelt in front of her. I held her hands and looked deeply into her eyes. I was trying to find some hope that somehow, I could get her back into what she was before.

  2. Language Investigation: Barack Obama Inaugural Address

    I thank President Bush for his service to our nation, as well as the generosity and cooperation he has shown throughout this transition. Forty-four Americans have now taken the presidential oath. The words have been spoken during rising tides of prosperity and the still waters of peace.

  1. Philip K Dick Comparison

    Philip K. Dick was becoming more and more eccentric with each passing year, later claiming that he was having week long visions, which were the basis of his later novels from the VALIS series, and claiming that the FBI, CIA and KGB were after him.

  2. A one to one interaction with an elderly woman Aunty Emily to try through ...

    E: I have lived here all my life. It's the best home any one could ever wish for. T: Have you thought of living any where else? I felt this was a good question because I would know if she would like to spend some time somewhere else just for a while.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work