Do 1Denis DoInstructor AlvarezENG 1BDecember 2, 2018500 Pounds and Some PrivacyIn her essay, A Room of One’s Own, Virginia Woolf wrote, “Like most uneducated Englishwomen, I like reading—I like reading books in the bulk” (91). Those that have heard of Virginia Woolf know that she is far from uneducated. In fact, she is multilingual and has written a shelf’s worth of literary work. Hidden in the content of the essay, the comment cited above shines with Woolf’s ironic and modest wittiness. She jokes, but the message behind her joke is serious. In A Room of One’s Own, Woolf expresses her concerns about the status of the female author. She is so concerned that she loads a hundred-plus page essay with thoughts on the possibility that her hunger for “books in bulk” could be satisfied by female authors of the future. Woolf’s worries could be from the perspective of the audience, but the resolution offered is from a seasoned author’s perspective. Early on in her essay, Woolf proclaims that, “A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction” (2). Although she calls it a “minor point,” this declaration would prove to be a major impact on the future of literature. Many critics challenged the notion. How could having some money and some privacy transform into a plethora of literature written by women? Woolf answers this question by employing the essay itself. Before recognizing A Room of One’s Ownas an influential feminist work of literature, one must recognize that it was first a work of literature written by a woman that had some money andsome privacy. The essay is both a product and the source of idyllic creative circumstances for the
Do 2female writer. By utilizing a pioneering method of narrating, Virginia Woolf reveals how having, or not having, some money and privacy effect a woman’s style of writing. In the opening sentence of the essay, Woolf anticipates the audience’s skepticism towards the title as she writes, “We asked you to speak about women and fiction—what has that got to dowith a room of one’s own?” (4). She goes on to explain that to write exemplary fiction women need money and personal space. More specifically, women need the same money and personal space that men are afforded. Woolf also explains that she can only properly help the audience understand by, “making use of all the liberties and licenses of a novelist” (5). The form of A Room of One’s Own signifies more than Virginia Woolf’s fondness for writing novels. Rather, it signifies the success of female authors that preceded her. She later notes that the most successful male authors write “with the unconscious bearing of long descent” (Woolf 78). Woolf knew females did not have a Shakespeare to look up to. In addition she knew that women did not have any permission to dabble in history, biography, or philosophy. So then, how are females to write without any tradition or prominent style to model their own after? To defy this issue, “she writes in the style of the finest form available to a female author at the time, the novel” (Humm 94).