What is the purpose or the main thesis of A Room of One's Own?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The central thesis of A Room of One's Own as it is generally understood is well captured in the title and is only slightly expanded by the often-quoted statement, "A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction."

It is clear, however, that Virginia Woolf knew this simple statement was not literally true. The brief history of women's writing she gives in the essay obviously includes Jane Austen who, famously, never had a room of her own, but wrote in a draughty hallway with a creaking-door to warn her when anyone was coming. Jane Austen, moreover, was one of the more privileged female writers. Alice Walker, the American novelist, observes,

Virginia Woolf, in her book A Room of One's Own, wrote that in order for a woman to write fiction she must have two things, certainly: a room of her own (with key and lock) and enough money to support herself. What then are we to make of Phillis Wheatley, a slave, who owned not even herself? ( In Search of Our Mothers' Gardens: Womanist...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 577 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team