A Room Of One's Own
7 Pages 1697 Words
A Room of Many Thoughts
One of the first things to notice about A Room of One’s Own is that it is not a typical lecture. It rambles and flows back and forth, in and out. It is more narrative than
Logic. It breaks many of the conventions of a formal address. Why does Virginia Woolf choose to do this? Why choose this style, this method? One reason is to turn predominantly masculine, or traditional, thinking on its head in order to undermine its authority. There is another reason for her approach, however—one that rises from her most basic ideas about what literature and writing should be and do. Her ideas about what makes for good writing are contained in this text, if indirectly. Understanding these ideas allows the reader to see how she is able to write so convincingly, particularly since there seems to be such a lack of argument involved. Where she does not tell the reader what she thinks, she shows them. She is doing more than simply trying to keep the reader interested with a few colorful descriptions. She is showing us what she values most about writing while at the same time artfully expressing her views on women and fiction.
Woolf is a modernist, concerned with illuminating life through the subjective consciousness and its impressions. Her seemingly random details and descriptions, in fact, work together to paint a picture, to leave a skillfully crafted impression upon the reader. She believes the best door to the human mind and heart is through the subjective.
She places us inside the minds of others, where we, more often than not, find a little of ourselves.
She warns that life must be attended to and navigated without poisoning it with something foreign, something that is not real. This is why she does not structure A Room of One’s Own like a formal argument, intended “to preach, to proclaim an injury, to pay off a score, to make the world the witness of some hardship or grievance”. Her method is ...
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