A Room of One's Own Essay

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FOUR In Chapters Four and Five of A Room of One 's Own,, the focus on Women & Fiction shifts to a consideration of women writers, both actual writers and ultimately one of the author 's own creation. The special interest here is one raised earlier in the work: the effect of tradition on women 's writing. Woolf believes that women are different from men both in their social history as well as inherently, and that each of these differences has had important effects on the development of women 's writing. Women writers, this is to say, have been treated differently from men because they were women; and this has affected how they developed. Furthermore, Woolf maintains, women writers are different from men writers because they are women;…show more content…
on equal terms with men. For women, the narrator contends, "here begins the freedom of the mind," the possibility that in the course of time one will be able to write whatever one likes. With Mrs. Behn, writing by women cased to be "a sign of folly" and became an activity of practical importance. "Money dignifies what is frivolous if unpaid for" she observes, and Mrs. Behn 's success in the Seventeenth Century led to very many women earning money through writing in the Eighteenth Century. These women became the necessary forerunners of the successful women writers of the early 19th Century: Jane Austen, the Brontes, and George Eliot. With the 19th Century writers, one can begin to consider women 's writing in a more expanded manner - as a kind of writing that has its own nature based on what it is to be a woman. First, the narrator wonders why the early 19th century writers were all novelists despite their apparent differences in temperament. And one answer that she gives focuses on women 's common social role. Functioning at the heart of the family, she observes, women 's training inevitably includes the observation of character and the analysis of emotion. These are faculties women acquire unconsciously in the course of daily activities and they are more easily put to use in a novel than elsewhere in fiction. Domesticity, thus, was not always a disadvantage for women. However, she goes on to consider, to the extent that women 's
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