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  • Welcome to the Macat Multimedia Series. A Macat Analysis of Virginia Woolf’s A Room

  • of One’s Own.

  • “A woman must have moneyand a room of her ownif she is to write fiction.”

  • That famous line, written by the British novelist Virginia Woolf, tackled head on the question

  • of why men, rather than women, had authored a large proportion of the greatest works of

  • literature. Writing in 1929, Woolf argued that the future of women’s participation

  • in art and literature depended on altering deeply entrenched ideas about their capabilities

  • andsuitableaspirations. Her essay A Room of One’s Own spoke of education

  • as the key to women’s emancipation. Woolf thought education could provide women with

  • a voice they could use to contribute to culture, and sought to highlight the discrepancies

  • between what men and women can hope to achieve in a patriarchal society.

  • The central idea of her essay was that women have not been given the space in which to

  • think, read and develop as intellectuals. Excluded for centuries from participation

  • in public life, and rendered dependent on men for financial securityshe notedwomen

  • have historically lacked both the material means and the legal freedom to voice their

  • own ideas. Woolf illustrates her point by inventing a

  • fictional female character: Shakespeare’s sister, Judith.

  • In contrast to her brother, William, Judith does not have the opportunity to go to school,

  • nor is she encouraged in her efforts to read or write.

  • Instead, she finds herself trapped in the home, where she is actively discouraged from

  • pursuing creative goals. Predictably, Judith never writes down her

  • thoughtsso her ideas go unexpressed, to be lost in history.

  • Woolf’s essay suggests that William Shakespeare’s success was not solely the product of his

  • talent. He was offered opportunities to explore and expand his creative callingby participating

  • in education and public lifeand the chance of earning a living as a professional writer.

  • Woolf saw all of these factors vital to Shakespeare’s success.

  • Had he been born a woman, he would not have had the opportunity to write, and we as a

  • culture would have missed out on a great deal of poetry, plays and influence.

  • Judith Shakespeare was created by Woolf as a metaphorshe shows the displacement

  • of women from literature and the arts, from public life and culture. The silencing of

  • her character serves to remind readers of the limitations that society has historically

  • placed on women. But, we are invited to wonder, how many literary

  • greats might have beenif only aspiring women writers had been granted the same chances

  • as their male counterparts? Today, Woolf’s essay is still studied as

  • a foundational contribution to modern feminist thought.

  • A more detailed examination of her ideas can be found in the Macat Analysis.

Welcome to the Macat Multimedia Series. A Macat Analysis of Virginia Woolf’s A Room

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An Introduction to Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One's Own - A Macat Literature Analysis

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    黃佳茹 posted on 2016/06/14
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