Virginia Woolf, A Room of One's Own
e.g. the beadle, the Manx cat
Close-reading and literary analysis
Some really don't like this, because heavily invested in empowering women's voices
and their experiences because historically they have been silenced and have not been
So many untold lives
Woolf's rhetorical structure is a failure in some eyes
The notion of value because of who is the speaker is considered part of the
Some like the questioning of the "I"
e.g. the self-effacing "I": importance of experience? Critique of unitary self?
e.g. woman as mirror reflecting man as twice his size: deconstruction of the hierarchical
Today's key points
Incandescence (end of ch 3)
Anger (questioning Charlotte Bronte)
The female sense
Chloe and Olivia
Who is the woman that Woolf is speaking about, for, and to?
Gender, class and race
Since 1928 there has been a growing tradition
Suited to women because of the material conditions, their lives, which are
characterized by constantly being interrupted
No need for long concentration
When women begin to start talking in mass, they write novels
Women are trained to analyze character
Didn't have formal university education - didn't learn Latin and Greek
A new form in the 18th century, no rules and regulations with classical structure
Chapter 4 she begins to talk about genre
She doesn't just give a list, she judges them
Starts talking about the writers
Can be turned against itself
Not liking anger is very conventional and giving into men's standard of propriety
Attempting to maintain standards - women should be docile and not question others
They don't express too much emotion - especially anger
Charlotte Bronte: "It is clear that anger was tempering with the integrity of Charlotte
What is the effect of Woolf spending so long citing this passage that "tampers with
the integrity" of C.B? is Woolf consistent about anger in Room?
Quotes Jane Eyre's ranting of inequalities
She gets angry, expressing a good deal of anger and seen it in the male professor herself
Ch 4. the tradition of women writers: what standard does Woolf use to judge writing? What
makes a good woman writer or a flawed writer? What doe Woolf value?
Doesn't like women writers complaining about their lot
He was detached from his writing, transcendence, leaving the personal behind
Completely opposed to the material conditions
Her ideal is Shakespeare
"All desire to protest, to preach, to proclaim an injury, to pay off a score, to make the world the
witness of some hardship or grievance was fired out of him [Shakespeare] and consumed.
Therefore his poetry flows from him free and unimpeded. If ever a mind was incandescent,
unimpeded, I thought, turning again to the bookcase, it was Shakespeare's mind"
Criticizing and yet asserting the value of emotion tied into writing
Trying to show a man's view of women's writing
Someone disassociated from the anger, which is projected on "doubles" within the book
Jane Eyre is about women's anger and trying to keep some propriety in place
Women could argue that they are expressing their anger through literary text, rather than in real
The female sentence
Even this incandescent writing is gendered
Jane Austen and Emily Bronte "wrote as women write, not as men write"
Procreation element - excitement, satisfaction, exertion, facilitates
Their creative drive is put into this, because they cannot produce offspring themselves
The male writer does his procreation in fiction, literature, poetry, plays
Sexualizing of artistic creation
Where as Woolf is always sidetracked by either external force or the movement of her
She didn't write the male sentence - the accretive way, in terms of a non -traditional
Very general and abstract
"'The grandeur of their works was an argument with them, not to stop short, but to proceed. They
could have no higher excitement or satisfaction than in the exercise of their art and endless
generations of truth and beauty. Success prompts to exertion; and habit facilitates success'"
Where identities are said to be "natural" or "cultural"
How do you devise something that is natural - scrambling of nature and culture
"Jane Austen looked at it and laughed at it and devised a perfectly natural, shapely sentence
proper for her own use"
Women's highest accomplishments should be in domestic duties, not literature
"The book has somehow to be adapted to the body, and at a venture one would say that women's
Is she opposed to emotions, or trying to erase the binary opposition? Perhaps
looking for men and women to be looked as equal. By having women write in
a similar fashion to men it will show that we have the ability to be as credible
Lecture 3 - 19/09
Thurs day, September 15, 2011
C. de Souza ENGB51H3 Page 1
Virginia woolf, a room of one"s own. Some really don"t like this, because heavily invested in empowering women"s voices and their experiences because historically they have been silenced and have not been represented. Woolf"s rhetorical structure is a failure in some eyes. Some like the questioning of the i The notion of value because of who is the speaker is considered part of the patriarchal ideology. E. g. woman as mirror reflecting man as twice his size: deconstruction of the hierarchical binary. Since 1928 there has been a growing tradition. Chapter 4 she begins to talk about genre. When women begin to start talking in mass, they write novels. Suited to women because of the material conditions, their lives, which are characterized by constantly being interrupted. A new form in the 18th century, no rules and regulations with classical structure. Didn"t have formal university education - didn"t learn latin and greek. She doesn"t just give a list, she judges them.