Example Of Historical Content Of Virginia Woolf Literature Review

Type of paper: Literature Review

Topic: Women, Literature, Men, Society, Virginia Woolf, Novel, Life, Shakespeare

Pages: 6

Words: 1650

Published: 2021/02/05

Virginia Woolf and Feminism

Virginia Woolf was born in 1882 in a well-to-do English household and was brought up by freethinking parents. She initiated her writing career when she was still a little girl and published her first written work, the novel by the name ‘The Voyage Out’ in the year 1915. This was appreciated by most of her age mates, and she managed to earn more praise from them. As a young girl, Woolf was known to be playful and light-hearted. Due to her family's humorous antidotes, she was able to start a family newspaper by the name Hyde Park Gates News that became famous. Virginia had established herself as an intellectual and innovative thinker and writer in her mid-forties (Scott, 136). As a result, she regularly spoke in the universities and colleges where she even wrote moving essays. Her popularity later decreased after World War II although she remains to be one of the most well-known authors of the 21st century.

Her View about Feminism

Feminism is the movement that seeks to improve the value of women’s lives in a society where men are the dominance. Woolf noted that women need to obtain their meaning in life as well as realize their identities as part of the humanity (Sellers, 54). She was known to be one of the distinguished feminists during her years. First, she criticized the authoritarian power that most of the fathers and husbands had over their families. She and the sister Vanessa were able to unite against the patriarchal rule in their family. Basically, this showed how Virginia appreciated the need for women rapport. She also notes women who supported each other’s work were likely to fight against patriarchal machinery. Next, she viewed that women ought to believe in themselves and maintain their personal integrity so as to exclude themselves from social dominance. Several feminist groups such as world women organization and women cooperative guild influenced Virginia (Edmondson, 28).

Analysis of ‘A Room for One’s Own.'

Virginia Woolf wrote the book A Room for One’s Own after she had given a lecture to the women on the subject ‘Women and Fiction' in Cambridge. She confessed that the book would encompass a lot given the fact that feminism was the current issue during the period. The lecture on women and fiction literally meant women and what they preferred (Riyandri, 19). Woolf offered her opinion that a woman must have money and a room of her own in case she was to write a given fiction. As a result, this leaves the significant problem of the true nature of women and the real nature of fiction unsolved. After indicating her argument, she went ahead to maintain and illuminate it clearly. Later on, she manages to get the opportunity of saying a good deal about the true nature of women. As a novelist, she speaks through the first person in her novel, even though, this could be either Mary Seton or Mary Beton. Through this, the fictional setting impersonalized Virginia's attitude while at the same time giving her artificial personality to her remarks.
In her novel, Woolf states the reasons as to why there are very limited achievements among the women writers through her centuries. First, they failed because they were not intellectually free as well as financial independent (Edmondson, 22). She gives examples of women that were affected by these factors during the eighteenth century. Judith Shakespeare, who is a twin sister of William Shakespeare, this imaginary character demonstrates Woolf’s view about gender inequality. Judith is as gifted as William Shakespeare is; she is limited by constrains from society because of her sexuality. Her father treated her unfairly and forced her to get married, this plot creates a strong impression of the gender inequality. First, the hypothetical sister of Shakespeare did not manage to go through all these despite the fact that she was a genius. Consequently, Brontes and George Elliot lacked the full participation due to the men they lived with. In spite of the limits of these women’s possibilities in past times, Virginia notes that they did not identify their abilities since they wrote in angry defiance of them. On the same note, Woolf goes ahead to illustrate that her desire to write the book was not to compete with men but rather to help the women get their place in the society.
In addition, she describes the position of women writers through the centuries, and this can be compared with the present lives of women and men. With much courage, Virginia speaks for her sex with much fancy as logic and as much wit as knowledge. All these show the imagination of a true novelist, and she speaks for it quite well (Koutsantoni, 63). Besides, she is able to escape from an attitude of conventional radicalism by arguing the novel was not for women but artists. She supports this by explaining that all artists, no matter their sex, need 500 pounds a year and a room of their own. However, women have had so much less frequently compared to men hence a special plea for them has a special force. Conclusively, this novel has significant touches, and the writer herself knows a great deal more than the one thing she is commissioned to deliberate. Mrs. Woolf expounds on the actual truth and maintains a persistent dignity as she opens up some of the critical values in the society. Another character is Mary Beton, who is Woolf's aunt and plays a major role in the novel. Her death gives Virginia a generous allowance of five hundred pounds a year. Through this, she has had financial security, and this has taught her the importance of money. Consequently, she was able to visualize why women suffered intellectually as well as materially.
Analysis of “Mrs. Dalloway."
The book begins where Clarissa prepares for an event that she is to attend that evening. She is putting in some effort to ensure the party goes on well rather than planning it. It shows how much the party mean to her and puts her heart and soul into making it faultless. Next, peter who was Clarrisa's former boyfriend drops in on her unannounced. His presence does depict that he wants to have an affair with her again and Clarissa herself invites him into the party. The theme of conflict is illustrated in this context where she starts doubting her relationship with the husband since ex-boyfriends are never good news. Septimus is the other character who is waiting for an appointment with the psychiatrist Sir William Bradshaw (Friedman, 101). His trauma-induced nervousness complicates the simple view that English people want to have concerning war. As a result, the theme of conflict arises here even though war is not all about heroism, and he is a strong reminder of the scars that ii has often left in the society.
In addition, the theme of suicide is evident in the book (Friedman, 91). Later on, after Septimus spends a moment of joy with his wife Lucrezia, he decides that he will not go with the doctors to a mental institution. Instead, Septimus throws himself out through a window and is discovered on the railings below. The scene is seen as climax due to the contrast between the happiness of the couples dialogue and Septimus suicide. Consequently, suspense is evident where Woolf leaves her readers in the dark about the relevance of Septimus' suicide to the rest of the story. She does not also explain why the soldier was staying with a fifty-two year old society woman. Subsequently, party foul is depicted where Dr. Bradshow excuses them by pointing out that his delay was due to one her husband's patients committing suicide. As a result, Clarrisa is angered by the fact that anyone would mention death yet it was her festive gathering. She then retreats to her bedroom to recollect herself before joining the rest once again. Accordingly, Clarrisa is no longer offended by Septimus suicide but rather she identifies with it (Woolf & Susan, 67). The scene happens after a few moments of reflection after she feels the doctor has made a stunning sacrifice that allows her to see life with fresh eyes. In the end, she is able to return to the party a somewhat different individual, and her joyfulness spreads immediately to Peter Walsh.
Sally was another character in the works of Virginia who almost had the same outstanding personalities as her. She championed for the equal positions of women in society especially in their places of work as well as their marriages (Woolf, 212). Through this, she was able to become one of sally’s role model as she depicted what she had always admired in life. This illustrated how women can help their fellow women to become what they are and avoid being dictated by the men. Women empowerment is another theme clearly indicated in Sally’s actions where she motivates Clarrisa and enlightens her to know her rights as a woman.


In conclusion, it is evident that through Virginia’s works, the society has been influenced in a number of ways. First, it has made the world a better place for most of the women especially the weaker ones. For instance, they have been empowered, and they presently have opportunities such as education and leadership positions. The men and women now have same equalities and can serve anywhere in the world (Sellers, 77). Secondly, her works have helped maintain the fact that all human lives are all valuable. The men especially within a household no longer treat the women as animals. Consequently, the women are now aware of their values and rights and that they are no better than men and men are no better than they are. Lastly, her works have opened up several opportunities for women, and this has led to success. Women have had several opportunities for leadership as well as education in most cases. This has hopefully taught them how to be independent and be their own person instead being dictated by the husbands.

Works Cited

Edmondson, Annalee. "Narrativizing Characters in Mrs. Dalloway." Journal of modern literature 36.1 (2012): 17-36.
Friedman, Sharon. Feminist Theatrical Revisions of Classic Works: Critical Essays. Jefferson: McFarland & Company, Inc., Publishers, 2008.
Koutsantoni, Katerina. Virginia Woolf's Common Reader. Farnham, UK: Ashgate, 2009. 
Riyandari, Angelika. "19th century women and homosexuality: the case of Virginia Woolf's mrs. dalloway." Celt 1.1 (2013): 19-25.
Scott, Laurence. "Petrified Mermaids: transcendence and female subjectivity in the aesthetics of Virginia Woolf's Mrs Dalloway and André Breton's Nadja."Textual Practice 28.1 (2014): 121-140.
Sellers, Susan. The Cambridge Companion to Virginia Woolf. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2010. Print.
Woolf, Virginia, and Susan Gubar. A Room of One's Own. , 2011.
Woolf, Virginia. Mrs. Dalloway. Broadview Press, 2012.

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WePapers. (2021, February, 05) Example Of Historical Content Of Virginia Woolf Literature Review. Retrieved July 03, 2022, from https://www.wepapers.com/samples/example-of-historical-content-of-virginia-woolf-literature-review/
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Example Of Historical Content Of Virginia Woolf Literature Review. Free Essay Examples - WePapers.com. https://www.wepapers.com/samples/example-of-historical-content-of-virginia-woolf-literature-review/. Published Feb 05, 2021. Accessed July 03, 2022.

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