The Outsider in Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own
In A Room of One's Own Virginia Woolf writes: "I had no wish to enter had I the right, and this time the verger might have stopped me, demanding perhaps my baptismal certificate, or a letter if introduction from the dean"(8). This particular line jumps out at me for several reasons. First off, I find it rather humorous. I was rather surprised by this remark as well. I did not think that I would be reading anything that would make me laugh even the slightest bit. Despite this, Woolf is angry after being refused entrance to the university library, and she shows it with this bit of wit and sarcasm. She does not think that it is fair or proper to keep women out of such places. I am also willing to bet that this is not the first time that she has ever been asked to leave a place solely because she is a woman. In this respect she is an outsider in two ways: she is not a member of the university, and she is a woman. This frustrates her greatly, but she does not just explode in her writing. She makes little comments here and there that help to get her point across.
It is very important that Woolf does not explode in her writing. If she did, her critics would tear her apart. She would get nothing accomplished, because no one of any importance (since they were pretty much all male at the time) would want to read an essay or book that was nothing but a woman complaining about all of the things she's not allowed to do. By using more subtle methods, more people are going to read her work. She is already pretty controversial based on the fact that she is a woman expressing her views in a time when that was thought to be improper. The more people read her, the better for her and her views. Even if those reading don't agree with her point of view, at least it is getting some notice. A good idea is not necessarily a good idea if no one ever finds out about it.
I also like this line because it has an outsider’s view of the situation. Many...