Virginia Woolf And Contemporary Feminism Essay

1061 words - 4 pages

Virginia Woolf (1882 – 1941), a prominent English writer and feminist, was considered one of the twentieth-century’s most remarkable modernist novelists. The well-known works of Virginia Woolf are often closely related to the development of feminist reproach. With that being said, she was a rather distinguished writer in relation to the modernist movement as well. Virginia Woolf certainly restructured the novel, experimenting with her flow of thoughts and imageries. Although, not always appearing to be the work of clear organization or even solid structure for that matter. This allowed her to portray the inner lives (emotional and psychological motives) of her characters through an element of familiarity.
During the course of her life, Virginia Woolf endured severe fits of mental illness, believed to have been the effect of what is typically characterized as bipolar disorder. While her fairly unique style of writing was largely influenced by way of the symptoms she experienced though her disorder, those same symptoms likewise triggered horrible mood swings. This behavior repeatedly led to periods of recuperation in her home which caused her imagination and ingenuity to be compromised in relation to her writing.
Throughout her lifetime, Virginia Woolf wrote nine novels: The Voyage Out, Orlando, To the Lighthouse, Mrs. Dalloway, Jacob’s Room, Night and Day, The Years, The Waves and Between the Acts. In addition to novels, she wrote many pieces of non-fiction as well: The Death of the Moth and Other Essays, Women and Writing and A Room of One's Own.
With that being said, A Room of One's Own (1929), a book-length essay, is regarded by most as one of Virginia Woolf’s most famous pieces (in terms of criticism and feminist literary). This piece of literature was written as a response (or solution if you will) to the “woman problem” observed through her perspective. Further advancing in her thesis she reasons that “All I could do was to offer you an opinion upon one minor point—a woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction; and that, as you will see, leaves the great problem of the true nature of woman and the true nature of fiction unsolved” (Woolf). Woolf disputes the long-standing interpretations regarding the competencies of a woman and furthermore incorporates a philosophical materialist consideration about the overall state of women’s existence.
Throughout her thesis, Woolf examines the difficulties that writers of the female gender and intellectuals face because men hold disproportionate economic and legal clout. Her use of other female authors such as Jane Austen and Charlotte and Emily Bronte helps her to analyze women and their struggles as writers as well as their position in literary history. In order to further get her point across, Woolf creates Judith, a sister and female equivalent to William Shakespeare, through which she references in a contemptuous form at times.
Woolf invented this fictional character in...

Find Another Essay On Virginia Woolf and Contemporary Feminism

Time and place in Virginia Woolf`s novel "Mrs Dalloway"

817 words - 3 pages Virginia Woolf is one of the popular English modernist writers, whose works affect everybody. They do not leave the reader cold, may be it is because of her way of writing, as it is said:"Mrs. Woolf has culture and intelligence, she writes from a strong and genuine productive impulse; her sensibility, when she does not force it, is fresh, individual and admirable in its kind, for its expression she has developed a fastidious and accomplished

The Contrast of Virginia Woolf and Alice Walker

1214 words - 5 pages The Contrast of Virginia Woolf and Alice Walker After reading the four essays assigned to this sequence, it becomes interesting to contrast two author's points of view on the same subject. Reading one professional writer's rewriting of a portion of another professional writer's essay brings out many of each of their characteristics and views. Also, the difference in writing styles could be drastic, or slight. Nevertheless, the writers

Society, Class, and Conflict the Social Criticism of Virginia Woolf

1939 words - 8 pages Virginia Woolf offers interesting analysis of social pressure and social class in Mrs. Dalloway and The Years. Understanding Woolf’s message about society demands a certain amount of sensitivity and decoding on behalf of her reader. Her social criticism in both texts can be easily overlooked because she keeps it subtle and implicit, hidden in the patterns and courses of her characters’ trains of thoughts. Yet upon such close reading, the

Night and Day by Virginia Woolf text analysis

784 words - 4 pages head, Virginia Woolf, being the omniscient narrator, shows us the trouble and lost Katharine Hilbery has created into Denham’s mind. To express her ideas, she uses multiple stylistic features which contribute in adding a certain consistence to the themes she wants to highlight. Subsequently, two themes may be identified in that extract which are the inability to distinguish the real from the intangible and Ralph’s unconscious infatuation with

Summary of A Room of Ones Own by Virginia Woolf and sexism in this century

644 words - 3 pages In her book A Room of Ones Own, Virginia Woolf provides a graphic portrait of sexism in the early 1900s. Since then our society has allowed almost all the same equal opportunity to women as men. The only restriction that comes to mind that women still have today is women aren't permitted to become priests. Our society has come a long way since the release of Woolf's book and I think that she would feel proud and accomplished of contemporary

Imposing Our Own Ideological Frameworks onto Virginia Woolf and Her Writing

3786 words - 15 pages Imposing Our Own Ideological Frameworks onto Virginia Woolf and Her Writing Whenever we try to imagine the feelings or motives of a writer, we impose our own thoughts and ideas, our own biases, onto that person and their work. Perhaps in order to justify our choices or legitimate the philosophies that we hold dear, we interpret texts so that they fall into place in our own ideological frameworks. Literature, because it engages with the

Use of Stream of Consciousness by Virginia Woolf and T.S. Eliot

1418 words - 6 pages Stream of consciousness is a key technique used most famously by modernist writers T.S. Eliot and Virginia Woolf. The Oxford-English Dictionary defines consciousness as “Internal knowledge or conviction; the state or fact of being mentally conscious or aware of something.” The term “stream of consciousness” is what is going through an individual’s mind. There is always a conversation going on within a person’s mind, whether it is an internal

Existence of Reality in Christopher Durang's Beyond Therapy and Edward Albee's Who's afraid of Virginia Woolf?

1101 words - 4 pages Existence of Reality in Christopher Durang's Beyond Therapy and Edward Albee's Who's afraid of Virginia Woolf? Growing up, I always assumed that my parents would grow old together. I fantasized about introducing my future children to their still-married grandparents and attending, if not personally planning, my parent’s fiftieth anniversary celebration. Although my parents fought and struggled with areas of perpetual disagreement, somehow

The Intersection of External Time and Internal Time in Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf

3259 words - 13 pages In Mrs Dalloway, the modernist writer Virginia Woolf undermines the usual conventions of prior prose fiction by adopting an innovative approach to time. She contrasts the objective external time and subjective internal time that structure the plot of the one-day novel. In fact, the story takes place on a single day in June and, by the use of two important techniques, namely the stream of consciousness mode of narration

A comparative study of the presentation of characters' mental states in Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf and The Hours by Michael Cunningham.

2525 words - 10 pages "I adumbrate to a study of insanity and suicide: the world seen bythe sane and insane side by side." Virginia Woolf's description ofher intentions for Mrs DallowayBy clarifying Mrs Dalloway as a story of insanity and suicide we are lead to presume that the focus of this novel will be 'insanity', a marginalized mental state. But Woolf subverts this social conception of mental instability, and writes instead a novel, which reunites insanity and

Virginia Woolf

1787 words - 7 pages Virginia Woolf Virginia Woolf spends much of her time straddling the issues in ?A Room of One?s Own.? She carefully manipulates the reader by burying her points in flowery language and assumes the identity of another person so she does not have to take responsibility for what she says. She is very careful not to come off as too forceful or angry because she knows that her ideas will be disregarded if she does. Woolf is terrified of

Similar Essays

Virginia Woolf As Feminist And A Psychoanalyst

2012 words - 8 pages Virginia Woolf as Feminist and a Psychoanalyst When first introduced to the feminist and psychoanalytical approaches to literary criticism, it seems obvious that the two methods are opposed to each other; at the very least, one method -the psychoanalytic - would appear antagonistic to feminism. After all, there is much in Freud's earlier theories that a feminist would find appalling. It also seems to be a conflict that the feminists

Psychiatric Evaluation And Diagnosis Of Virginia Woolf

1015 words - 4 pages I have chosen to write about Virginia Woolf, a British novelist who wrote A Room of One’s Own, To the Lighthouse and Orlando, to name a few of her pieces of work. Virginia Woolf was my first introduction to feminist type books. I chose Woolf because she is a fantastic writer and one of my favorites as well. Her unique style of writing, which came to be known as stream-of-consciousness, was influenced by the symptoms she experienced through her

Elizabeth Barrett Browning And Virginia Woolf Essay

802 words - 3 pages Elizabeth Barrett-Browning and Virginia Woolf       I chose to compare and contrast two women authors from different literary time periods.  Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861) as a representative of the Victorian age (1832-1901) and Virginia Woolf (1882-1941) as the spokeswoman for the Modernist (1914-1939) mindset.  Being women in historical time periods that did not embrace the talents and gifts of women; they share many of the

Feminism And Insanity In Virginia Woolf's Work

1141 words - 5 pages Feminism and Insanity in Virginia Woolf's Work The critical discussion revolving around the presence of mystical elements in Virginia Woolf's work is sparse. Yet it seems to revolve rather neatly around two poles. The first being a preoccupation with the notion of madness and insanity in Woolf's work and the second focuses on the political ramifications of mystical encounters. More specifically, Woolf's mysticism reflects on her