Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Juliana Stilwell- Virginia Woolf and The Angel of the House

Virginia Woolf was a writer during the early twentieth century. Many of her writings are full of messages to women that influence them to stop being the “angel of the house” and receive their own education. Her novel, “A Room of One’s Own,” explains to readers the importance it is that women gain their own identity. During this time, women were expected to solely take care of their families and not think about themselves. In her novel, “To the Lighthouse,” her main character, Mrs. Ramsey, spent her entire adulthood raising children and did not focus on herself. Towards the end of her life, Mrs. Ramsey starts to question herself and realizes that she is unhappy because she has not accomplished anything for herself. Woolf was writing in a time when not many women were holding professions. She ultimately made her own printing press so that her writings would not be criticized by male critiques. She stressed to women readers in majority of her novels that we need to gain our own identities in order to be happy with ourselves. Thankfully, today majority of women are working and are able to balance both a career and a family. In her novel, “A Room of One’s Own,” she explains why women have not been able to be writers throughout history and it is because history has traditionally placed women below men. Men have traditionally been expected to go to college, while women are expected to stay at home. She also realizes that women were not given their own rooms and a place to write. They constantly were interrupted by their family members and it would have been near impossible to write a novel when a bunch of children are running around the house. Woolf stressed to women the importance of not marrying young and finding yourself before you get married.

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