Women Need a Place to Write in Woolf's Essay, A Room of One's Own

Decent Essays

A room of one’s own is based in the format of a lecture at a women’s college on the topic of women and fiction. Woolf bases her essay around the thesis that “women need money and a room of their own in order to write fiction”. Characters such as Mary Beton, Mary Carmichael, and Mary Seton are used as imaginary narrators, whom of which are grappling the same topic as Woolf. The narrator uses Oxbridge and various libraries to reflect on different educational experiences available to men and women. At Oxbridge the narrator focuses on the material differences, while in a British library the narrator concentrates on the matter in which women are written about. The British library proves to show the topic of women are written by men and with …show more content…

The narrator finds this cat to be out of place, and she uses the sight of this cat to take her text in a different direction. Losing her train of thought is an exercise in allowing the reader to experience what it might feel like to be a woman writer. Although the narrator goes on to make a valuable point about the atmosphere at her luncheon, she has lost her original point. Women, who so often lack a room of their own and the time to write, cannot compete against the men who are not forced to struggle for such basic necessities. Throughout the essay, the narrator is very intricate in describing women as a social class. They are generally poor and considered lower class. As a way to describe the money truly needed to write the narrator writes, “Intellectual freedom depends upon material things. Poetry depends upon intellectual freedom. And women have always been poor, not for two hundred years merely, but from the beginning of time . . .” (DeShazer 69). This explains why women write novels and fail to succeed at writing poems. In writing novels, it is easier to compete with interruptions, while poetry must be one straight long shot. With no money, women will be forced to remain second to the males in society. Therefore, the financial discrepancy between men and women at this time only held the myth to be true that women are less successful writers than men. While Woolf makes very good points throughout her essay based many interesting points, one cannot help

Get Access