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Characterist Virginia Woolf's The Angel Of The House

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Historically, women faced many struggles with not being viewed as strong, independent, and intelligent. They were limited to just being a wife, unable to work, and not valued for anything other than their sacrifices. In 1931, Novelist Virginia Woolf spoke about these issues to the Women’s Service League. Woolf used rhetoric to effectively speak to her audience; the rhetorical devices of allusion, parallelism, and imagery furthered her argument and encouraged her audience to construct their own position in society rather than conform to accepted roles. The allusion that Woolf made in her speech was to the Angel of the House. The Angel of the House is a poem from the 1800s about a self-sacrificing wife who is viewed as the ideal Victorian woman. In paragraph three of her written remarks, Woolf described the Angel as sympathetic, unselfish, and pure. She then described how it was necessary to kill the Angel, indeed, it was an act of self-defense; Woolf declared, “Had I not killed her she would have killed me. She would have plucked the heart out of my writing.” She used this chiasmus because it was very effective at portraying her dire need to push the Angel’s convincing words out of her mind so that she would be free to develop her own thoughts. The Angel had extinguished a fire in her that she needed to rekindle in order to be an honest and successful writer. Woolf used this allusion as a metaphor for patriarchal society and her innate sense to comply to it. This reference
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