Irst Class Essay Explication of A Room of Ones Own by Virginia Woolf
Questions to Think About:
What is the meaning of the title of this piece?
When asked to speak of women and fiction, Woolf replies with a discussion of why it is important for women writers to have their independence. According to Woolf, what is the relationship or connection between rooms of ones own and Women and fiction”?
Woolf defines the question of women and fiction as being three inextricable questions: women and what they are like; women and the fiction they write; and women and what is written about them. What answers does she provide for each of these questions? What are women like, according to Woolf? What kinds of fiction do (or, as of 1928, did) women write? What is (or, as of 1928, was) written about women?
Why does Woolf say she is disappointed in herself for being unable to come to a conclusion that students can write in their notebooks and take away from them? Why would this be so important as a part of a lecture? Why would it be so important to Woolf to be able to do so?
Woolf writes, A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is going to write.What does this mean to Woolf?
Why does it matter so much when Woolf walks on the turf at Cambridge University, and what does she make of this event? Why is a woman barred from admission to the Universitys library? Why does her exclusion make her so angry that she vows never to ask for Such hospitalityagain?
What importance is it that the dinner at the womens college is Not good”? How does this lead to an exloration of the founding of the womens college? What is Woolfs broader conclusion about women and their cultural poverty that this incident leads to?
What does Cambridge University represent for Woolf, a Modernist? How is it a symbol of Victorianism?
Why are men so rich and women so poor, according to Woolf? What are the historical roots for womens poverty? What explains the startling contrast between womens estate in fiction (as Shining beaconsand as symbols of humanity) and in history (as slaves)?
What is the significance of the list of references to women she discovers in the course of her reading? What sorts of arguments about women does Woolf find in English writing prior to 1928?
Why has the woman artist, according to Woolf, led a life of such Disorderand struggle? How does Woolf argue against the assumption that No woman can write the plays of Shakespeare”?
What does Woolf mean by the statement, Who can measure the heat and passion of a poets heart when it is caught and tangled in a womans body”?
Why, according to Woolf, have so many women written under assumed–male–names?
What history of womens writing does Woolf identify in A Room of Ones Own?
Woolf discusses the ways in which limits of propriety blighted Jane Austen and Emily Brontes writing, but she also argues that they both wrote As women write.What does Woolf mean by this? What does her identification of this quality in Austens and Brontes writing say about Woolfs view of womens cultures?
What does Woolf mean when she says, There is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of the mind”?