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Virginia woolf: "A room of one's own"


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Virginia woolf: "A room of  one's own"

Virginia Woolf is a 20ht-century woman novelist who was very sensitive to the condition of throught the centuries."A room of one's own",a volume of essayes published in 192 949c25j 9,is the concrete result of her interest in feminist debates wich has led her to adress two papers to the woman students of Cambridge Unniversity the previous year.The title anticipates a first interpretation of the problem,which Wolf developes throughout the book.The first reason of women's exclusion from the world of literature and the arts is the fact that women have never had a room of their own,in wich to study,to read or simply collect their thoughts far from the drudgery of everyday duties.So the room has a simbolical values:in fact,a room of one's oswn means a place for one's solitude and,above all,a place where one i san individual ,before being part of community,or rather a person at the service of community,or rather a person at the service of a community.Woolf says that a room of one's own and five hundred pounds a year are the fundamental requirements for a woman to be indipendent.So,the author examines the role of women in literature,considerino how men consider female figures in their books and,at the same time,the way women writers approch to literature,all this during the two days before a lecture Woolf is going to give at the university of Cambridge in october 1928 on the subject "WOMEN AND THE NOVEL".In the third charter,there is the most famous piece of the book,in wich the witer assumes that Shakespeare had sister,Judith,equally talented,and speculates on the likely destiny she would have had if she had really existed.Infact ,Shakespeare could attend school,create his own family,work in theatre;on the other hand,Judith wasn't sent school,but she had to stay at home.Howerver,she liked reading and,when she could, she secretly read some books and write some papers,even if their parents wanted her to take care of the houseworks,because they knew how a woman had to live.So they wanted her to marry a man they chose for her and one night she escaped.Her dream was acting but,at Shakespeare's times, women couldn't act and female roles were performed by man.But one day the actor-manager,Nick green, took pity on her and married her.She found herself pregnant and she finally killed herself, lying buried at some cross-roads where the omnibuses usually pass.Judith's story shows a woman who can't do what she wants and forced to do something she doesn't want.She live san un happy existence because she can't realize her dream:the society wants her to stay at home, not to study,no to act,not to marry a man she was in love with.So in this extract Woolf wants to show that, at Shakespeare's times, but also at Woolf's times, there are different oppurtunies offered of women and men and the choice of these involves different effects accordino to the fact that you are woman or a man.The last aspect of his book is represented by Woolf's style which finds in this book its definition.Infact,Woolf considers writing fundamental to her existence and she thinks that to bea n artist means to have a perfect combination of masculine and femminine qualities, so she tries to solve the problem by adopting two different styles:one for her pieces of criticism and essays, wich was clear, logical,concise ,"mascoline";the other for her works of imagination,wich was poetic clear,trasparent,flexible,riythmic,"femminine".The main difference between these style is the degree of tension:it reaches the pitch of incandescence when she narrates and invents,while it is cold and dominated by reason when she wants to be detached.She has tried all her life to combine the male and the female into an androgynous mind:calm, stable, not touched by the consciousness of sex, but she realizes that this idea is utopian because it represents an escare from the confrontation with femaleness and maleness.In the sixth charter of "A room of one's own", Woolf deals whit her theory of the androgynous:she explains that in men's mind the male part dominates, while in women's mind the female part is dominatine and the perfect state is that when the two live in armoni toghether, spiritually co-operating.She thinks that coleridge means this when he says that "a great mind is androgynous", because this type of mind is fully fertilized and uses all its faculties.In conclusion, "A room of one's own" can be considered a milestone in he history of feminism and also an important work to understand Virginia Woolf,s style which characterizes all her other books.


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