Discuss the main themes  in chapter 4 from Virginia Woolf's novel "A Room of One's Own."

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The drive for equality of opportunity and representation in voice is present in Chapter 4 of Woolf's work.  Woolf argues that the social discrimination of women's voices presents itself in artistic creation.  Women feel that if their art is going to be openly derided or dismissed because of gender, it will have an impact on the creation of art as well as their own voice, which will continue to be silenced.  In this light, the social perception of women has an overriding impact on the art that is created.  As the plight of women artists is explored, the overriding theme that is present is a woeful lack of representation.  With Austen being declared as the "first great woman writer," the theme of the privilege that men have enjoyed at the cost of women's voice becomes apparent.  Consider that the narrator can only cite one woman as a preeminent literary force in all of Western thought, spanning thousands of years.  This position of entitlement has helped enhance the division between men and women, empowering the former at the cost of the latter.

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A Room of One's Own

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