Reads: A Room Of One's Own5:03 PM
A Room Of One's Own is an extended essay by Virginia Woolf, based on a series of lectures she delivered at Newnham College, and Girton College, two women's colleges at Cambridge University. The essay employs a fictional narrator and narrative to explore women both as writers and characters in fiction, it is in fact, non-fiction. The essay is most commonly viewed as a feminist text, because of Woolf's notable argument for both a literal and figurative space for women writers within a culture dominated by patriarchy.
The spine of this essay maybe fairly thin, but Woolf manages to cover a lot in these pages. Most notably, the title, stating that in order to be a successful writer, women must have a room of their own in order to do so. Meaning, they must have money. However, women are kept from such things due to their relative poverty and lack of financial freedom. In order for women to have "a room of their own", they would have to have extremely wealthy parents. Woolf also brings up a lot of other interesting points, such as Judith Shakespeare (William Shakespeare's sister, a fictional character she created for the essay). What if this woman did exist with the same talent as her brother? It would not matter, because her gift would be denied to her because women are not granted the same opportunities as men.
I don't want to spoil the rest of the essay, so I won't give anymore of it away. However, it really is interesting to see Woolf's arguments pan out in today's society. Being financially secure enough to write is still an issue among many people, especially women, however, could J.K. Rowling have written Harry Potter if she was not starving and forcing herself to use her talent as a means of survival? It's possible, but she proved that she could write, even while on welfare and as a single mother at that. However, she didn't use her full name Joanna Kathleen Rowling, instead she choose to use J.K. Rowling .Why? Because J.K. could be anyone, where Joanna is a recognizable female name. Still proving that women are denied a lot of the same literary opportunities (not to mention loads of others) as men, even in our modern society.