Tuesday, October 16, 2007

HW21: Hope this is Helpful

Dear Katie,

I know you need help with Virgina Woolf's A room of one's Own, so I'm going to try and give you an understanding from the information I took from reading it. This book is one of the hardest books I have read so I can understand how you had trouble with it. I will try to give you a quick synopsis of what happened and then tell you what I think it meant.
In the beginning of chapter 1, "Mary", the first character introduced, starts writing about women and fiction. She discusses the three different ways that she believes she could write about women and fiction. She says, "The title women and fiction might mean, and you may have meant it to mean, women and what they are like; or it might mean women and the fiction they write; or it might mean women and the fiction that is written about them; or it might mean that somehow all three are inextricably mixed together and you want me to consider them in that light". This quote immediately made me think that "Mary" was going to be a very analytical character. From that point on I took her to be like type of person that would over analyze situations. She then goes on to discuss the role that women have in writing compared to men and she states that women need a room of their own to be able to sit and collect their thoughts and write poems or novels etc. Mary then begins to describe the water front that she is by and the college and its surroundings. Throughout the entire chapter she seems to give much detail about her environment and the different things she observes. For example, " The beautiful October day was fading and the leaves were falling form the trees in the avenue as I walked through it. Gate after gate seemed to close with gentle finality behind me. Innumerable beadles were fitting innumerable keys into well-oiled locks; the treasure-house was being made secure for another night." (Woolf, 13) Mary also talks about how she ponders about the differences of how things were before the war and after the war. This goes back to her comparing men and women. Women were not looked at with the same equality as men then, as they are today. I think your teacher finds this book important because I think in chapters to come the issue of men versus women and the different outlooks people had on women will continue to come up. I think it will show just how important it is to have equal rights for women as for men. In my personal opinion, this was a difficult read so far and I think it will continue to get harder. The wording Woolf uses is very different and she uses a very extensive vocabulary. For me to be able to accurately interpret what she is saying in this book, I think I'm going to have to look more deeply into the underlying messages.

Good luck with your book report!


Tracy Mendham said...

You did pretty well with this, Annie. One more important element of this is the comparison between Oxbridge (the men's university where Woolf/Mary is not allowed in certain areas) and Fernham (the women's college) and the meal the narrator eats on each campus. This demonstrates that women do not have the same access to education, tradition, and money that men do.

Tracy Mendham said...

Is HW 22 in the works?