Virginia Woolf

Virginia Woolf- A Room of One’s Own

          uses fiction for theoretical ends; style is meandering

          lectures on women and fiction

          centers on two main issues: modernism and feminism

          fiction writer = birds eye vies

          she was very interested in insects, metaphorically

          periods of imbalance throughout her life (whirr of insects wings)

          individual view is very limited of the world

          fragmentation, isolation, fragility of human in their environment viewing/ perceiving world

          moments of insights and understanding

          as a lecturer: giving no the truth but her opinion; want audience to discover their own end

          thesis: woman needs room of her own and 500 pounds a year to write

o   “class blindness”  criticism

o   she was left that amount by her aunt

          “material constraints”…”materialist feminist”

          she recognizes it’s difficult to have the time and money to be a writer

o   can’t do it alone, they are assisted

          difference between gendered colleges ($)

          situating intellectual life within body and emotions

          poverty of body and mind

          room of their own: intellectually and physically

          being locked out: patriarchal history to exclude women

          unusual and amazing opening

           mind is part of the body; thoughts intercepted within her walk and her footsteps; literally and figuratively takes a wrong turn

o   physical movements echo her internal thoughts

o   images of streams throughout the essay

          opening phrase: acknowledging the audience ha s mind of one’s own; they’re active, not passive

o   opening with dialogue, allowing for opportunity for interruption; trying to undo hierarchy, terrified of authoritarian ways

o   endorsing a public exchange of ideas and establishes a women’s community; doesn’t silence the listener and is consistent with her offer to show how she arrived at her opinion

          nugget of pure truth”: offering truth is authoritarian and it is hypocritical; truth is local and limited to each person’s perspective

o   she situated intellectual task within a story of her own activities as she think of her answers

o   let’s them know where she’s coming from

          wandering (physical and mental): she was doing both simultaneously; represents freedom of body and ideas (until she’s told where she can tread, and in such where and how she can think as she is only a woman!)

o   she’s trespassing in male’s domain; made to keep off their turf

o   representing physically the freedom restrictions on her intellectual explorations; can’t separate body and mind as they depend on one another

o   space is highly symbolic

          lies will flow from my lips”: have the audience think more critically of what she’s saying; role of fiction? truth depends on perspective so her “truth” will differ from another’s

o   truth is limited and bound

o   her truth may be your lie

o   need to invent women’s history because it hasn’t yet been recorded and they need to solidify their place

          metaphors and similes

o   ideas as fish

o   image of turf

o   don of giant crabs and crayfish

          “unpleasant to be locked out, worse perhaps to be locked in”

Virginia Woolf- Mark on the Wall

          experiment with new form to capture view of insect (versus one  of the bird)

          not omnipotent, very specific and bound perspective

          cannot understand self fully so cannot understand place in the world

          snail: painfully slow journey through garden

          narrative technique: stream of consciousness

o   capture moments in time

o   walking around , allowing her physical meandering to be reflective of her mental thought process

          she give an optimism to the poem they don’t  in fact have (projecting her understanding)

          stream of association: free associative thinking which revels in the multiple imaginings opened up by freedom from the desire to find out what things really are

          the mark on the wall presents an opportunity for speculation what things really are

          what is knowledge:?

          a meditation n the transitory nature of existence, and the reduction of human life to that of a snail


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