What are some of the more important aspects of "A Room of One's Own" written by Virginia Woolf?
I'll give you a summary of some important elements of Woolf's A Room of One's Own, according to the enotes Study Guides on the novel.
- Equal Opportunity: the aristocracy obviously has far more opportunities than the peasantry and other social and economic classes between the two.
- Opinion vs. Truth: truth is not absolute, and the best one can do is give opinions and attempt to support them.
- Privilege and Entitlement: enacting favorable laws for women is not enough--women must believe they are entitled, and act accordingly.
- Difference: even when women are given equal opportunities, the results will not be equal--there will be differences.
- The speaker uses 2nd-person often, referring to the reader as "you," as if she is giving a lecture. The effect of this is that the speaker deemphasizes differences between her and the reader--she avoids coming off as a know-it-all.
- Playful and humorous--this emphasizes debate over anger.
- Lectures usually use concrete examples and specific details for support, but the speaker here uses fictional anecdotes for support.
I would say that some of the most important aspects of Woolf's work would center on the idea that there can be multiple interpretations on truth. The idea of reconfiguring history and literature through a gender related lens was radical for its time period. The common assumption of multiple angles of perception, as well as the validation of narrative, voice, and experience become critically important in Woolf's work. The aspect of being able to define a "room of one's own" for women away from the socially constructed definition of gender is not only remarkable in its assertion for the time, but also empowering in that it validates the experiences of women at the time and represents a benchmark in feminist thought.