Why is Woolf's essay partly fictional? Why does not she write completely in non fictional mode about the limitations women face in writing?

Asked on by habibkhan

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I think that part of what makes Woolf's writing fascinating is her adoption of a slightly fictional, slightly non fictional point of view.  If she were to create an entirely non fictional piece, it would be more of a sociological study and would lack the imagination and creativity that the fiction aspect affords her.  One of her driving forces seems to be the desire to increase the moral imagination of the reader.  Her employment of fiction helps to do this.  At the same time, she is attempting to be consistent with the Modernist belief systems in seeking to construct a work that is not entirely in one vein.  The notion of multivocality in the approach to writing and creating literature is something that appealed to Modernists, who sought to define the genre in new and different manners.

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