Ha TranMr. Ross
Virginia Woolf and A Room of One’s Own: Writing from the Female Perspective
In A Room of One’s Own, Virginia Woolf argues that “a woman must have money and a room of her own” (Woolf 4) if she is to write fiction. Virginia Woolf ponders the plight of women throughout history, she dismissed all barriers, eradicated the prejudices of society about how to fight against the woman at this time. For women to become writers, they must have their own room. This must be a literal room and a symbolic room. This means women need space and privacy to write. They also need enough money, so they will not need a job, and they can focus on writing (Megaessays). It depicts the formation of society over the centuries, which suppresses and limits the literary potential of women. This system inhibited and confined women’s literary potential, and they stood up for women’s equality in every way, gendered values and highly intelligent women would have been met with injustice in the old social system. Therefore, to be a successful female writer it is essential to have A Room of One’s Own, that today’s room has changed cause women today, they have created for themselves the same strength as men.
At the beginning, the problems that Woolf speaks in A Room of One’s Own are based on a polite past on the women. Woolf builds the image of the woman in A Room of One’s Own with the necessary elements to be able to become the woman of independent writing, creative in thought and a way of developing their own life. She focuses on a series of conditions that had always been disregarded to women: leisure time, privacy, and financial independence. For mention, the fact that women are deprived of all the rights they deserve and are clearly shown in chapter one through the author’s narrative: “ladies are only admitted to the library if accompanied by a Fellow of the College or furnished with a letter of introduction” (Woolf 7- 8). This way, from the very beginning of the book, Woolf is introducing gender roles and discrimination. Women have been barred from attending school and university, or excluded by law for inheritance, or expected to marry during which their time is spent housekeeping and child rearing.
Virginia Woolf is concerned women’s perceptions about life through the awareness and its impressions. She creates elements and describes them hastily, in fact painting a picture to create a unique and ingenious impression for the reader. She believes the best door to the human mind and heart is through the subjective. To illustrate in detail, Woolf gives an example when she speaks of Shakespeare. Woolf believes that anyone who wants to achieve success has to put all his mind and energy into it: “in order to achieve the prodigious effort of freeing whole and entire the work that is in him, must be incandescent, like Shakespeare’s. . . There must be no obstacle in it, no foreign matter unconsumed” (Woolf 58). By this, she means that when Shakespeare wrote, he was able to, “use writing as an art, not as a method self-expression” (Woolf 83). The appearance of Judith’s fictional character, Shakespeare’s sister, is as talented as he is but has been battered by the “grave male” society (Sparknotes): “women are supposed to be very calm generally: but women feel just as men feel; they need exercise for their faculties and a field for their efforts as much as their brothers do” (Woolf 72). The “women” label made many talented women in the XIX-XX century denied, extinguished.
Woolf uses plenty of visual metaphors and symbolism to support women. The awareness for how women can be independent about financial problems lead to a change in society hierarchy. In fact, it is Woolf’s hope that women everywhere could successfully overcome any obstacles. Women have the necessary material for intellectual freedom that is self-worth. There is a choice of women who can choose to try to get what they want. Keep oodles of choices that financial strength is the power to help the women stand firm, “of the two-the vote and the money-the money, I own, seemed infinitely the more important” (Woolf 37). Women believe that if they can financially independent, it is at women may not need the presence of the man in their life.
Women are dismissed, their actions are always considered and compared to men at this time. They were treated unfairly from the primary in their thinking. The women go ahead as grandmother or mother always taught the women “acquiescence” and “obedience” toward men. Because of the education and influence from the baby to the adult, women no matter how good they are, they refuse and always submit to men. The negative emotions surrounding the struggle between men and women, the way in which women are treated, and the way women confront these conflicts are their cognitive development at a higher level. Women are always disadvantaged, unlike men, who are not, and women cannot do what they want, eat or drink what they like; even the value of themselves they were always lower than men. Men look forward to the attractiveness of women; women are expected to desire to be desired by men. Another theme is quite powerful, and literally women become sexually active. This happens in most cultures, women have been placed in the social class that function as a servant and produce the baby. Men seize power, and women are very useful for them only in fertility. The woman always wondered: “Why do men drink alcohol and women? Why is one sex prosperous and the other poor? “(Woolf 25). Women are always looking for answers for themselves.
Through the change of time, women understood that they need to “refresh” and “upgrade” themselves. In fact, women take on many different responsibilities. Women are wives, women are the chefs of the family and a lot more. Women are responsible for a pregnancy and child rearing and because of this they are at a disadvantage with opportunities to complete against men. Women simply do not have time to sit still without being busy and moreover (Megaessays). Woolf argued that women had not previously been educated as men, and this was controversial. Throughout the book, Woolf expresses views about women’s rights to women. They are beaten, abused, maltreated and have no right to choose who they will become their husbands. If one wants to receive social recognition: “One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not denied well” (Woolf 18) – Women need to understand their value. At the moment, women know they are going to love themselves and respect it previously caused that “women never have a half hour…they can call their own” (Woolf 70). Women need to enhance their own values, which depends on their own perception, when they can love themselves, their values will be placed in a higher position in society-treated fairly.
Woolf is acutely aware of the difficulties surrounding the term “real,” does not shy away from examining it and demanding it. The thing women need is the truth. To represent life, the real must be upheld, “one must strain off what was personal and accidental in all these impressions and so reach the pure fluid, the essential oil of truth” (Woolf 25). The real should be represented as it exists— seemingly random and arbitrary. The “real” in life and the “real” in fiction should be one and the same, but life and fiction are distinct. Women seek is nothing less than “the essential oil of truth,” but eventually concludes that no such thing exists.
Throughout the book, Virginia Woolf proved the message is clear: women’s perspectives of the world should not be framed by the figure of a men. Women should not allow the limitation of the mind to be determined by any influence from the earlier society and should not allow the woman to be restricted to any function. Women should instead transcend the struggle to find the right relation to men, move in to minds and bodies; regain possession of them, inhabit them. And from these rooms of own they should look for their place, their room, their right relation to reality.
Woolf, Virginia. A Room of One’s Room. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich Inc.
Orlando, Florida, 1929.
A Room of One’s Own, Chapter 3, Sparkotes.
http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/roomofonesown/section3/. Accessed 31 May 2018.
A Room of One’s Own Essays, Megaessays.
https://www.megaessays.com/viewpaper/30067.html. Accessed 31 May 2018.