These conditions—leisure time, privacy, and financial independence— underwrite all literary production, but they are particularly relevant to understanding the situation of women in the literary tradition because women, historically, have been uniformly deprived of those basic prerequisites.
In her exploration of this idea, Woolf launches a number of provocative sociological and aesthetic critiques.
A Room of One’s Own, by Virginia Woolf was first published in 1929.
This feminist essay argues for both a literal and figural space for women writers within a literary tradition dominated by patriarchy.
Virginia Woolf's essay A Room of One's Own is a landmark of twentieth-century feminist thought.
Essays On Virginia Woolf'S A Room Of One'S Own
It explores the history of women in literature through an unconventional and highly provocative investigation of the social and material conditions required for the writing of literature.Most famously, Woolf describes the conditions necessary for a woman artist to unleash her full potential: privacy (a "room of one's own"), and money (self-sufficiency).Woolf argues that, if women are to explore their artistic potential, they must be allowed to pursue these basic necessities.She reviews not only the state of women's own literature, but also the state of scholarship, both theoretical and historical, concerning women.She also elaborates an aesthetics based on the principle of "incandescence," the ideal state in which everything that is merely personal is consumed in the intensity and truth of one's art.Just as Woolf speaks out against traditional hierarchies in the content of her essay, so, too, does she reject standard logical argumentation in her essay's form.Woolf innovatively draws on the resources of fiction to compensate for gaps in the factual record about women and to counter the biases that infect more conventional scholarship.Shifting back and forth between literary criticism, personal memoir, historical inquiry, and witty and imaginative anecdotes, Woolf brilliantly blends multiple genres to craft a masterful feminist critique of art, literature, and the social position of women in general.Woolf explores female oppression through the ages and concludes that a female version of Shakespeare has not surfaced because the historical subjugation of women has prevented such an occurrence from happening. Our certified Educators are real professors, teachers, and scholars who use their academic expertise to tackle your toughest questions.Educators go through a rigorous application process, and every answer they submit is reviewed by our in-house editorial team.