A Room of Ones Own by Virginia Woolf
Published by: Penguin Classics
Genres: Classic, Nonfiction
Date Read: 01/02/2015
A Room of One’s Own, based on a lecture given at Girton College Cambridge, is one of the great feminist polemics. Woolf’s blazing polemic on female creativity, the role of the writer, and the silent fate of Shakespeare’s imaginary sister remains a powerful reminder of a woman’s need for financial independence and intellectual freedom.
Virginia Woolf takes a look at several of her predecessors, including Charlotte Bronte, Emily Bronte, George Eliot, and Jane Austen, as well as some lesser known writers. We get a glimpse of the author’s opinions regarding both their shortcomings and achievements. Virginia Woolf certainly is a feminist. However, she presents the case for a strong, independent woman that does not achieve her victories by tearing down man, but rather by developing and reinforcing her own self worth and developing her unique facilities. Woolf takes her readers through the history of women writers, and makes sure that the reader cannot fail to see how brief it is and how limited, and why.
“A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction”
The book also talks about how literature as an art wasn’t exactly encouraged back in the day, both for men and for women. Overall Woolf makes a lot of great points and it’s obvious she sees literature as being of utmost importance in the world.
This was an insightful essay. It perhaps meandered from time to time and took me a bit to get used to this style. But, once I grew accustomed to it, I was hooked. Having not read any of Woolf’s works of fiction, I am now more than eager to pull out a particular novel and unearth more of her beautiful prose which I loved stumbling across here. I enjoyed her wit and also her knowledge about literature in general.