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"A Room Of One's Own", "Letters To Alice On First Reading Jane Austen" And "Capote"

1403 words - 6 pages

Making specific reference to A room of One's own, Letters to Alice on first reading Jane Austen and one other text evaluate the ways in which language shapes and reflects culture and values.Values, preoccupations and themes are all evident in literature through the use of literary techniques. However, other forms, such as film, allow, through cinematographic techniques, for these values, preoccupations and themes to also become evident. Virginia Woolf's extended essay, A room of One's Own, argues that females have been financially and socially limited in their ability to write, clearly portraying a patriarchal society, to which Woolf is preoccupied with changing. Weldon has an altered view of the role of women in society, and so has instead become preoccupied with how society does not value literature in her book, Letters to Alice on First Reading Jane Austen. Bennett Miller's Capote is a film that explores a writer's ethical responsibility, and how this affects the blend of fact and imagination in non-fiction.Throughout A Room of One's Own, Woolf posits her position on gender roles through the creation and characterization of three "Marys". Mary Carmichael, Mary Beton and Mary Seton all serve specific purpose in Woolf's own play on truth. Mary Carmichael is a fictional author, who's novel, Life's Adventures, to Woolf is revolutionary through the creation of a previously unimaginable relationship between two women. Woolf narration which leads to the revealing of her findings to her audience, is both sarcastic and wittingly rhetoric:"Do you promise me that behind that red curtain over there the figure of Sir Chartres Birton is not concealed? We are all women you assure me? Then I may tell you the very next words I read were these - 'Chloe liked Olivia...' Do not start. Do not blush. Let us admit in the privacy of our own society that these things sometimes happen. Sometimes women do like women."The humour used to introduce the concept of a lesbian relationship nullifies the offensiveness of the quote, whilst still enabling Woolf to build a subtly amusing climax through the repetition of rhetorical questions. Through this, Woolf is able to show struggle against defined gender roles, through the conception of a narrative that was written by a female about females.A Room of One's Own continues to place Woolf and the responder in a place of struggle by means of Mary Beton. The narrators inheritance from Beton allowed Woolf to contrast this with the previous role of women, describing life in domesticity as "like a slave, flattering and fawning". Again, Woolf's struggle with defined gender roles can be seen as she begins to describe the narrator exercising a separated independence from men by claiming the inheritance allowed her to "not hate any man; he cannot hurt me. I need not flatter any man; he has nothing to give me." Woolf's continued anaphora emphasizes the narrators autonomy and freedom of thought.Mary Seton, who is a friend of the narrator...

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