A room of ones own
A room of ones own is an essay written by Virginia Woolf. The essay was first published in 1929.The essay is based on many lectures the author delivered at Newnham college, and Girton college. The author has used a fictional narrator a narrative to express the message to the reader. The author explores women as writers of fictions, and characters in fiction. Most people consider the essay a feminist text. This is because the author uses the essay to argue for space for women writers. This paper analyzes the essay a room of ones own, and explores how the author has shown the issue of gender inequality and how it affects women development in literature in the essay. The thesis statement is gender inequality and how it prevents women from producing quality work in literature. Gender inequality in the essay is shown by traditions in the society, money, job opportunities, education and freedom (Woolf & Lee 2000).The author has used the essay to show how women are denied the rights to write fictional work as they have no enough money.
Most people view the essay as a feminist text because the author argues for literal and figural space for women writers in the literary tradition that is dominated by men as the head of the house (Woolf & Lee 2000). The author has used the essay to examine if women are capable of producing quality work in literature. She also examines whether women are able to produce quality work like that of Shakespeare. In addition, the author addresses the limitations that women faced in the past and face now and how they hinder them from writing. The main thing that prevents women from writing much in the literary field is money (Woolf 2009). The author says that money is the main factor that prevents women from having room of their own. This makes it difficulty for women to write fictional work. If women have enough money they are able to have free room of their own, and participate in many activities. For example, the author says that, for women to write they should have five hundred pounds as it creates freedom. They should earn five hundred pounds in a year. This indicates that writers should have privacy, and time to think so as to write.
The writer cannot spend all the time working as she needs to have energy, and good mind to work. If the writer does not have good time and privacy, then, she cannot produce literature (Woolf 2009).Another thing that prevents women from having room of their own is tradition. Women do not have powers, and this hinders development. This is because women creativity is held back through ages. For example, the author uses the following quotation to show how money and freedom are important in creating room and improving creativity (Woolf 2009). “Intellectual freedom depends upon material things. Poetry depends upon intellectual freedom. And women have always been poor, not for two hundred years merely, but from the beginning of time . . .”The author uses this statement to show how poverty oppresses women, and hinders creativity. In the quotation the author says that intellectual freedom depends on material things, and also poetry depends on intellectual freedom. The material things in this case refer to money, and freedom is created by having money.
The author uses the statement above to show why women have contributed little in poetry, and why they have not written successful poetry. This is because they lack intellectual freedom, and money. The author believes that women are more likely to write novels than poetry. Without money it is difficulty for women to write .This is because they will always come second after their creative male partners. The financial difference between men and women in the society gives men a chance to view women less important and less successful writer (Woolf 2009).Another evidence why women are not successful in writing is because they lack freedom. This is shown by the author as she describes the thoughts of her narrator on women, and fiction. The author emphasizes the role of interruptions and how it affects the reflective process of the writer, and her creativity. Woolf dramatizes the effects of the interruptions to show that women require private room for creativity.
This is because without a private room women cannot afford to carry out creative work. Most societies have not given women private room to encourage creativity in women as they feel that women are inferior to men, but this is not true. Women in the society have to overcome various interruptions as they are deprived a room to write.Most women have not been given private room to carry out their own developments. Private room in this contest means giving someone space, and uninterrupted time to think. It is clear that women in the past and in the current society are not given space or uninterrupted time to think and carry out their literary development (Woolf 2009). According to Woolf’s view, the most determining factor literary achievement for women is space and free time to carry out literary achievements without being interrupted. Most women have not achieved much as they lack enough time, and room to carry out literary development. This is shown by the few works written by women compared to men.
In the novel the narrator visits the library, and finds that men have written many books than women. This is because women in the society have no freedom, but they are considered inferior to men. For example, in the essay the narrator is not given permission to enter the Oxbridge campus, or to enter the college library. The narrator says that if it was a man, he could be given permission to enter the campus, and library (Woolf 2009). This shows the gender inequality that exists in the society. The author has used this illustration to symbolize the impact of an educational culture that restricts women from having intellectual exposure. This is because women are not allowed to utilize resources in the library or any other places. This hinders women from growing intellectually, and carrying out differed developments in the society. Being denied access to the campus and library is considered as an infringement to the freedom of women, and female mind. The denial of access infringes the freedom of women, their mind and causes interruptions.
The interruption makes it difficulty for women to progress in the society. This interruption disturbs many thoughts and the development of an individual in the society. It also disturbs the development of an intellectual tradition. Thus, women are exposed to a lot of interruptions that result from gender related issues in the society, and this affects development. Hence, this reason why women have not contributed much in literature. For example, the narrator in the essay explains how her aunt gave her five hundred pounds, and how it made her have freedom. The narrator says that the financial freedom gave her freedom to reason things differently. This is illustrated by the following quotation (Woolf 2009).“ freedom to think of things in themselves." The author uses this quotation to illustrate the freedom women have when they have money.Women achievement in the literary field is affected by gender based division of labor .Women and men play different roles in the society and family. Roles played by women are less valuable to roles played by men. The author is optimistic that in future there will not be gender based division of labor, and men and women will be equal in the society.
The division of labor according to gender affects women as they spend time carrying out duties in the society and family and they have no enough time to write (Woolf 2009).Women can do better in the writing literature materials than men; the only thing that prevents them from achieving this is lack of freedom. This is shown by the author’s statements after visiting the British museum. After visiting the museum the author finds out that work done by men is written in anger. Women know what to write and if given the opportunity they can write it well. They do not write hate or preaching in their writing and the writing is always straight to the point. But, men like writing about how women are inferior in the society. This is shown by the following quotation."When I read what he wrote about women I thought, not of what he was saying, but of him. When an author argues dispassionately he thinks only of the argument; and the reader cannot help thinking of the argument too."The main reason the author has gone to British library is to discover why men are rich and women are poor. In the library, Woolf identifies literature written about women by the men.
The literatures have a common theme written in a title of one of the books. The theme is mental, moral and physical inferiority of women .The author is not pleased with the title, and she concludes that the authors have chosen the topic because of the rule of patriarchy. This is shown by the following quotation (Woolf & Gubar 2005). ‘‘is under the rule of a patriarchy.’’The quotation means that this is a society that is governed by men and men also control the society. In addition, men are considered more superior in the society than women. They are also considered the capable gender. The fact that women are inferior in the society, and they cannot control the society undermines their efforts. This makes it difficulty for women to have the freedom, and knowledge to write (Woolf & Gubar 2005). According to the narrator of the story, men in the society write about women and they often refer to the inferiority of women. The main reason is to maintain their privilege in the society, and control of power. This often results to women in the society being oppressed.
The author uses this statement to show that the status of women in the society, and their literary achievement is hindered by context. It is also historically related. The author does not want to blame men for mistreating women in the society, but she blames the traditions established by the society for doing so. Traditions established by the society have bound women, and their achievements. This is because women in the society are seen inferior. This affects the achievement of women in writing as they no support and they are despised in the society (Woolf & Gubar 2005).Another reason why women in the society do not have a room for their own is lack of good education. This is because men in the society are considered superior, and provided with good education. Gender inequality has affected the developments made by women as women have no enough money, or education. This is evidenced by the lunch the narrator attended in a male college, and the dinner she attended in a nearby women college. In the book, the narrator is invited at an all male college for lunch, and also she is invited for dinner at a nearby women college (Woolf & Gubar 2005).
The two invitations show how gender inequality has dominated in the society. This is because in the invitations women eat very plain and dull dinner while men eat sumptuous lunch. This is because men are considered superior in the society, and women are considered inferior. Women have no say in the society and they come second after their men as shown in the diner and lunch. This shows the inequality evidenced in the society, and its effect on the women. Another evidence to show gender inequality in the society is found in chapter one. In chapter one the narrator says that for many centuries a lot of money has been used to provide men in the society with education. But, little money has been used to educate women with in the society. This is because the society does not support education for women, and it values educating men more than women (Woolf & Gubar 2005).
The author has used this statement to support her statement that women have no enough money, and education. Thus, the reason why there are few women writers in literature writing. Hence, people should not be surprised by having few women writers than men (Woolf & Gubar 2005).The author has used several writers to illustrate that women can write good novels, and stories like men if given the opportunity. The author uses the writers to illustrate the importance of education, money, and freedom in writing. The narrator of the story explains how women writers have come out of blank past. The first women to come out of the black past are women of comparative and comfort. These women had the resources required to spend their time writing, and to disprove the public.
The women had the right time to do writing. For example, the narrator analyzes the work of Winchilsea. The work is not perfect because the narrator says that one has to analyze it deeply so as to get her views against the position of women. This is shown by the following quotation (Woolf & Gubar 2005).“one has only to open her poetry to find her bursting out in indignation against the position of women."The narrator also analyzes other writings written by different authors like Margrate of Newcastle, and Dorothy Osborne. Margrate of Newcastle wasted her time writing none scène. Margrate had no children, and she was married to the right man. The works of Dorothy shows how people despise women who write (Woolf & Gubar 2005). The author illustrates that women can make a living out of writing. This is shown by Aphra Behn. Other women started writing in late nineteenth century like Jane Austen, and Eliot. The narrator has used these women to support the thesis that women need their own room because the authors have something in common.
The women wrote the novels when they had no enough time or freedom of their own to write the novels. The novels were hard to write as the women were frequently disturbed (Gurney 2000). Women in the society can write good work like Shakespeare if given the chance, and time. For example, Jane Auten wrote good work like Shakespeare although she hid it when some one entered the house. She wrote her novels without hate, preaching, and protest. Other writers like Bronte did not writer like Jane Auten though they had the talent. This is because the writers did not receive the formal education required to write novels. They also had no enough time to do so. The author argues that integrity is important when writing novels as it hold the novels together. The narrator explains how the sex of the novelist impacts the possibility of achieving the integrity of her novel. Most writers in the society lack integrity as the society deprives them their right.
This is illustrated by Bronte. Bronte left her story after devoting to writer it to go, and attend to some personal grievances. This is because the writer recalled that she had not received the right experience. This is evidenced by the following quotation (Gurney 2000).."She left her story, to which her entire devotion was due, to attend to some personal grievance. She remembered that she had been starved of her proper due of experience. ...Her imagination swerved from indignation and we felt it swerve."This shows that lack of proper education, and inequality in the society can affect the quality of novels. This is because Bronte was not given the right education and freedom to write the novel. Most novels written by different authors have no good flow as they authors did not write them well because of disturbances (Gurney 2000).
The writers do not focus on the main point, but focus on anything.In conclusion, gender inequality has affected most female writers in the society in the past, and currently. This is because the women are not given time and freedom to write. In addition, women are always viewed inferior in the society, and men write about how females are inferior in the society as described by the author. Gender inequality affects the integrity and quality of work written by female writers as they have no enough education to use when writing and they have a lot of interruptions. Though, most people have criticized the essay written by Woolf, the author expresses gender inequality in the society and how it has affected writing. Gender inequality is evidenced in the society in terms of money, education, job opportunities and traditions. All this factors affect women achievement in literature (Gurney 2000).
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