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A room of one's own - critique

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A room of one's own-Virginia Woolf Prompt------ " In your own words express what her general thesis is (what is her message) and summarise her method that she uses to get her message across. Also analyse her audience and her intentions". The title of this essay ("a room of one's own") was produced by Woolf's conception that 'a woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction'. Woolf uses her title statement to begin elaborating on her themes, which all tie together to convey her message to her audience. The themes that are present in Woolf's essay are; a women's access to education, the 'Shakespeare effect', a history of women's writing, the four Marys and Lesbianism. All of Woolf's themes are coded within her essay and explained with a knowledge assuming basis as if she aims to prove to her audience what an educated woman is able to do, present a thesis and use both abstract and concise methods to convey her message. Woolf's theme 'Women's access to education' is first represented in the title and presented in a detached 3rd person point of view. Woolf argues that women have been kept from writing because of their relative poverty and financial freedom, Woolf says that "In the first place, ...read more.


this book tells the sad story of Judith's wasted potential leading and representing the reality that women are trapped within the expectations of women. For Woolf, Judith Shakespeare ends up becoming an exemplification of the danger and waste in denying women education and the means to determine the course of their own lives. Woolf's building of a history of women's writing is critically constructed. She examines the careers of several different women; Aphra Behn, Jane Austen, the Bront� sisters, Anne Finch, Countess of Winchilsea, and George Eliot. Also Woolf discusses and draws inspiration from Jane Ellen Harrison who, in the essay, is only represented by her initials. While Woolf criticises the way these women hid their intelligence, she also mentions some commonly referred to antifeminists, Lord Birkenhead and Oscar Browning. When Woolf brings up the topic of Lord Birkenhead she plainly reveals her position on this topic by saying that she will not "trouble to copy out Lord Birkenhead's opinion upon the writing of women". This statement clearly shows her anger that anyone could believe any woman is not equal. Woolf uses the words of Oscar Browning's biographer ("...the impression left on his mind, after looking over any set of examination papers, was that... ...read more.


Virginia Woolf's essay, lecture and book "a room of one's own" Is a delicate essay that flows from one theme to the next. Each of these themes have many internal meanings which when all brought together reveal a co-ordinated thesis which Woolf conveys to all the women whom she focuses upon. This thesis is that a room must be had so that women can write and that money is needed to write but most importantly women must own themselves. Woolf's use of a mental journey to show the women of Radcyffe hall her beliefs is spectacular and thrilling once realised. This journey went from; the lack of access women have to education, through a fictional character which had opportunities denied to her, back through the history of women literature and their weaknesses in not standing up for themselves, to the four Marys that withheld their fear of denial and 'men' in their hearts and finally towards the cover of lesbianism which when unveiled showed the internal need for women to write and be acknowledged. Virginia Woolf's essay is a wonderfully complicated piece of work that takes great concentration to perceive the message behind the continuous educated and concise rebuttal. ?? ?? ?? ?? Daniel Sanchez - Virginia Woolf "A room of one's own".--- English --- Mr Strazzera. ...read more.

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