7. Bibliography

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Info about A Room of One’s Own


Complete A Room of One’s Own text


Excerpt commented


Virginia Woolf biographical data







Papers about the topic




 THREE GUINEAS (A Room of One’s Own sequel)

Papers about the topic




Three Guineas complete text


Info about the sequel





Ninet Zaragoza, Gora  Censuradas, criticadas… olvidadas: las novelistas inglesas del siglo XX y su traducción al castellano… (tesis doctoral)

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6. Conclusion

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After having seen the details of Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own, it is important to mention and reinforce the idea that feminism in this work is depicted in literary terms more than in political action. In other words, what we are trying to convey is, that Woolf is employing a sort of feminist literary criticism against the literary society that has always been controlled by men. Her writing, as we have seen here, is a direct attack to the patriarchal system in the literary world, a world where women have their creativity bound. After reading our paper, it can be clearly seen Virginia Woolf’s art in writing and we would like to highlight this once more, because for us it is essential for the entire building of this work. Woolf could have written directly a critique against men in literature. Nonetheless, she expresses, creates a character that make us see through her eyes what the author is thinking, and this is one of the most remarkable things that under our consideration deserves to be known.

It has been very fruitful for us to write a paper with these characteristics. We have learnt more things about Virginia Woolf and her way of writing, about her ideas, about her fight in the society of her time. We have enjoyed reading her, we have been able to understand that subjugation women felt at the time and see that nowadays, although different, the situation has not changed as it deserved.

Finally, we consider that a good point for a future investigation would be an investigation of the sequel Three Guineas looking at it as a basis for a future paper. As we have already introduced here, this work is more about political feminism than the literary one. What is clear is that both works are fundamental feminist writings that can teach us a lot.

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5. Building the path for the future

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We have considered important and interesting to make a reference to what happened next to A Room of One’s Own in terms of idealism. We are talking about, of course, the writing that is considered the sequel of A Room of One’s Own. It is called Three Guineas. Natasha Walter, a feminist writer, wrote about the two works in The Guardian: “Together [A Room of One’s Own and Three Guineas] they form a brilliant attack on sexual inequality. A Room of One’s Own is a witty, urbane and persuasive argument against the intellectual subjection of women, particularly women writers. The sequel, Three Guineas, is a passionate polemic which draws a startling comparison between the tyrannous hypocrisy of the Victorian patriarchal system and the evils of fascism”.

Like A Room of One’s Own, Three Guineas was supposed to be a series of essays, mixing reality with fiction. Later on, Woolf changed her mind and made two different publications: Three Guineas and The Years, the latter being her best known work.

The intention of this section in our paper was not to develop Three Guineas, but to make the reader aware that Virginia Woolf continued the topic of feminism from different perspectives in other publications. In the case of A Room of One’s Own she talked about a literary repression, while in Three Guineas talks about the Victorian patriarchal system. All is inside the branch of gender criticism, but contents of both works are essentially different.

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4. Voices for and against “A Room of One’s Own”

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When we read a book of these characteristics, we can expect a strong criticism. These kinds of writings don’t allow a poor or an ambiguous critique. Either they are very well accepted by some, or they are completely hated by others. It can be easy for us to think that, at the time Virginia Woolf wrote these impressions, or even nowadays, male chauvinists could be furious.

If we had to catalogue or consider the people that would be part of one side or the other, we could mention women in general, as we have seen in our previous section, this writing was very important with the Women’s Liberation Movement. Also, LGTB groups could agree with A Room of One’s Own. Virginia Woolf was and still is considered a lesbian by ones and a bisexual by others. Even her nephew, Quentin Bell, assured that his aunt had a relationship with Vita Sackville-West. All these factors enlarge the sympathy of the LGTB groups towards the writer and her work.

Nonetheless, the book has also received negative criticism. The example that we give here is the argumentation carried out by Alice Walker, an African American author and poet. Walker criticised Woolf’s work for excluding black women, or women who couldn’t get that sought room by any means. She mentions the example of Phillis Wheatley.

Our point of view in this field is that not all the situations can apply to the same topic. We cannot mix Woolf’s desires in the 20th century, with an Afro American slave girl from the 18th century. However, this doesn’t mean that we don’t take into account Walker’s words. In fact, this can be a great topic to debate; how life conditions make women choose or desire some types of things (in the case of Phillis Wheatley: freedom) that, for others, in another time or place; are completely essential to live or have a different meaning (in the case of Woolf, freedom would be acquired through having a private space).

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3. From shadow to light

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In this section of our analysis we have used a more literary heading. We have considered important to mention how Virginia Woolf passed from being an author in the shadow, an unknown person, to one of the most recognised authors of the 20th century. In order to carry out our analysis, we have divided this coming out from the shadows in two parts.

Firstly, when she published The Voyage Out, which was her first published work, it was well accepted by the general public, but it didn’t become very famous. Woolf’s husband, Leonard, was a support to her, especially when Virginia had their attacks. This first section of the gaining of recognition becomes more important with the publication of Jacob’s Room.

Nonetheless, and as our second part in this section, it was during the Women Liberation Movements, in the 20th century, when Virginia Woolf was converted in a sort of icon. Although she had been studied, women joining the feminist cause discovered her values and transformed her as a symbol of the feminist activism, an author whom they should be proud of.

Following our literary heading, this period of being known by the vast majority of feminism is what we consider the light. Woolf experienced this journey from shadow to light.

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2. Main ideas and writing procedures

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The foundation of A Room of One’s Own was a speech that Woolf had to give about Women and Fiction. She used this as the basis for her work and, in fact, the book is the compendium of her essays for this speech. Virginia Woolf was strong in her beliefs. She saw everything being controlled by men in all society spheres. She centred her arguments on the literary points of view. She defended, as seen in the image, that “A woman must have money and a room of her own”.

There is a lot of symbolism in this sentence, which contains the title of the work. A Room of One’s Own as a title has a powerful meaning. If we pay attention to the words, we get the sense of rule, something that you can own, because it is yours. And it is a room, a space endowed with privacy, a place where you can do what you want without the permission of others. We consider that the title is nice and adequate to what Virginia Woolf explains in her work.

It is important to mention too the importance she gives to money since she saw this as the only way of becoming powerful, as the only way of being someone autonomous and strong.

Through her unnamed character, Woolf shows us how mistaken we can be with, let’s call it, our universally established truths. Woolf shows a great writing manner in doing this, as she is able to make us see that reality is always subjective and that opinions can be more trustful since we can explain them. It is an important fact that the only major character in the work has no name. This gives universality to her. If we, for example, think of another Virginia Woolf’s work, for example, Mrs. Dalloway we immediately think of the central character, Clarissa Dalloway. The image of a woman appears in our head, it is the image of one particular woman. The strategy Virginia Woolf is using in A Room of One’s Own is different. Not mentioning the protagonist’s name, implies that all the women could be represented by her, and all the women need what the unnamed protagonist is mentioning. So, this book can also be used as a weapon in order to attract women from everywhere.

Something that has called our attention is how Woolf uses interruptions. For example, in Chapter one, the narrator is being mislead by a cat without a tail. We, in the beginning, could be confused by this, but if we pay attention to the details, we can determine that Woolf is putting this in the story in order to demonstrate exactly what she is criticising: As women don’t have a room of their own, they mislead all the time; they cannot concentrate, so, women produce worse literature than men. Men don’t have this problem, because they don’t have to even imagine these situations, they have a room, they have privacy and they have the chance to be concentrated when writing.

In our opinion, Virginia Woolf is showing how wise she is when telling all this in the way she is doing it. His writing procedure is impeccable. How she plans what she is going to say and how is going to put it on the paper and make the reader see exactly what she wants him/her to see is a clear depiction of her ability to show how male society disallows women.

Another magnificent show of Woolf’s ability in writing as a critique to male society, is the creation of the character Judith Shakespeare. It is very interesting how Woolf depicts this character, as a sister of William Shakespeare. Everything is planned in this story and Virginia Woolf is expecting the reader’s attention and also the reader’s subtle knowledge. When we mention this subtle knowledge, we are making reference to the fact that, nowadays, everybody can think that William Shakespeare is ‘the greatest of the greatest ones’, so, if he has a sister, we expect her to be exactly like her brother. And yes, we are right, Judith Shakespeare is depicted in the story as talented as his brother. Woolf makes us go to that moment of creative power. We have two Shakespeares, two brothers, William, the one we know, and Judith. Both are equally talented. Then, Woolf takes benefit of what she has just said, to make us see reality. Judith is not taken into account only for being a woman. In fact, she ends committing suicide because of the awful situation she had in her life. She didn’t want to marry, and she’s hit because of that. She wanted to write, but was not considered only because of her sex. Suicide is used here as a way of escaping reality. A sentence we have considered that could define what we want to say is: if you don’t want to hear me, I don’t want to be among you. This sentence reflects, in our opinion, what suicide means in the case of Judith Shakespeare. Suicide is also a good topic in the world of Virginia Woolf, but that would be part of another paper.

What Woolf is trying to mean with all this is that if Shakespeare had been a woman, possibly, she wouldn’t have become so famous. The interesting thing is that, in order to make us show this, she invents a sister for William Shakespeare. This is what really makes Woolf’s writing procedures magnificent projectile weapons, she creates the perfect situation where the reader could see in a very visible and understandable way how women are being treated.

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1. Introduction

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In this paper we are going to talk about the depiction of feminism in A Room of One’s Own written by Virginia Woolf in 1929. This literary work reflects the critical views Woolf had at the time regarding gender questions.

We consider that A Room of One’s Own is a good topic and there are different reasons for us to consider this. First of all, we feel that Virginia Woolf is an author that deserves to be commented and analysed. We found a good idea to connect the feminism with her most feminist remarkable work, A Room of One’s Own. Finally, Woolf’s ability to make us readers see what she really wants to transmit with her writing has had, definitely, an important weight for the choosing of our topic.

A Room of One’s Own is a depiction of women’s value, it is written in a way that makes us activate our analytical instinct, that makes us forget all the assumptions that we previously had about everything.

We are going to focus our attention in the arguments and examples Woolf is showing in her work to defend the significance of women. We are also interested on how Virginia Woolf passed from being in the shadow, to become one of the most famous writers in London in her time. Our analysis approaches this topic from two perspectives: the first, talks about the coming out of what we have called Shadow and the other is about Woolf as a leader in the Women’s Liberation Movement.

We are also interested in some of the voices that accepted Woolf’s points of view, and others, that didn’t. Finally, we talk about the foundation for the future work, Three Guineas, which is considered the sequel of A Room of One’s Own.

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7. Bibliography

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William Golding talks about The Lord of the Flies


Feminist Criticism about Lord of the Flies


Info about LOTF


Wiki Lord of the Flies


Wiki William Golding


The Conch shell


LOTF allegorical novel


Piggy’s glasses


Novel analysis


The images used in this project are part of the movie adaptations of 1968 and 1998 and have been found using the traditional searching engines (Google images)

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6. Conclusion

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After having analysed the role of social strata in the story, and having seen how it affects the development of the The Lord of the Flies, for us, it seems clear that what William Golding is depicting in his masterpiece is a negative vision of society. We know that Golding fought in the Second World War and this fact was perhaps the trigger to the creation of this story. Golding was able to see all the horrors the humanity is able to carry out. And he put all his discontent in this story, using the young boys in the island as mirrors of our real and negative society.

For us it has been very interesting to analyse this form of criticism against society from the point of view of social strata. We have learnt more things about The Lord of the Flies, things dealing especially with criticism and allegory. We have seen during our analysis different approaches that go from the division of groups and subgroups, to the rivalry between the characters of Ralph and Jack; also from the, in our opinion, allegorical characters of Simon, Roger and Piggy to the absence of women in the whole story.

We have discovered carrying out this study that society can be controlled in many ways and by many people, especially if this people are good speakers. But we have also learnt that we have to fight against chaos. One of the best sentences that could close this paper is that what we have to do is to try to learn from our mistakes, this will guarantee a better future and a better society.

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5. Absence of women in ‘The Lord of the Flies’

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A lot of criticism has been produced regarding the absence of women in The Lord of the Flies. Women are not part of the social strata of the novel and there are different reasons for this. William Golding stated that he had been a little boy, a brother and a father, not a little girl a sister and a mother. This is why he used only boys as the basis for his story. Golding is not afraid of the possible criticism he could receive because of his declarations. In fact he also said that “Women are foolish to pretend they’re equal to men. They’re [men] far superior and always have been”. He says all this has nothing to do with equality. We, in a nowadays context, could think that Golding was a sexist, at least, in part of what he said. His first reason is very coherent. He is a man so it would be easier for him to depict boys than girls in his story. We can have our doubts about what he says about equality, he is too extreme in his declaration. Some of the criticism originated since the publication of this novel questions the absence not only of women, but other cultural minorities. Golding also gave reasons to not having boys and girls mixed at the same time. According to him, this would have changed the topic or the focus of attention. Golding is trying to depict how humans, having the opportunity to start again, are going to commit the same mistakes. If he had put girls in the island, this topic would have been lost and everything would have been charged with sexuality. Golding wanted to avoid sexuality as he saw it as too trivial.

In our opinion, some of Golding’s reasons are logical. For example, this last one; it is true that if he had placed boys and girls in the island, some sexual topic would have arisen. It wouldn’t be very natural to avoid sexuality  when mixing boys and girls in a desert island. So, Golding chooses the easy way. A way which endows him with the capacity of being centred in the topic he wanted to develop.

Of course, for some critics his reasons mean nothing. For example, if we pay attention to this:

In his effort to explore the roots of human behavior, Golding asks the women to “wait outside”, while bringing the men of the world into a fantasy where their worst selves unfold. And it may be Golding himself who has turned to his male companions to acknowledge, “maybe it’s only us.”

We can see how angry the writer is with Golding and how she is saying that he is a complete sexist making women “wait outside”. Furthermore, the writer also is implying that Golding saw men as superior beings “maybe it’s only us”.

For us, this analysis is very interesting. After reading/hearing Golding’s opinions and analysing criticism about this, the conclusion we can arrive to is that both women and Golding are right. On the one hand, Golding had his reasons, some of them more admirable and others more incendiary about the fact of avoiding females in the story. On the other hand, women have the right to complain about this as other social strata of our current lives (gays, coloured people, etc.) could do.

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