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Comment: Whose Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

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jrd3820's picture

Whose Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

I never know where to put these...
A Room of One’s Own.

This is an extended essay based on a series of lectures Virginia Woolf gave at some female only colleges. This all came about after she started realizing the different opportunities available to men in the world of writing and education versus the opportunities available to women. While she was trying to gather information for her essays on this topic she realized that most history on women had been written about by men. Just as a lot of history on various ethnic minorities has been written about by Caucasians. Anyways, she says that “A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.”

The idea is not so much that she has her own room (although that certainly helps) but that she is in a situation where she has financial control enough to have her own space if she so chooses. The money isn’t so much about material items; it is about being put in the same class as men and given the same opportunities.

To be honest, her writing kind of bores me. Its Brit lit. I always thought Brit lit was more boring because it was written in a mold. Mid 19th century-current American lit always seemed more creative to me. Authors were trying new things and at that point in American history individualism was embraced so people were not trying to fit a specific mold. That being said, I had to take 2 Brit lit classes and I did find Virginia Woolf to be an interesting character even if her writing bored me a little. She lived a tormented life and definitely had some mental issues.

Then there is the movie The Hours with Meryl Streep, Nicole Kidman, and Julianne Moore (aka the pretty redhead). The movie touches Woolf’s story Mrs. Dalloway which I as a horrible lit major never finished even though it is relatively short. Like I said, I think Woolf herself is a more interesting character and has a more interesting story than the stories she tells and the characters she creates.