‘An own room’, the feminist Virginia Woolf essay

The brief essay An own room, of the British writer Virginia Woolf, is one of his most important works and one of the cornerstones of feminist thought. Written in 1929, in the interwar period, it is based on two lectures given by the author of Mr. Dalloway in October 1928 in the Literary Society of Newnham College and Girton Odtaa College, Cambridge.

His audience then were university with literary ambitions. Woolf explains accurately the history written by women through the funds of the library of the British Museum novel, but the most notable are the recommendations made by them, and that go beyond literature to delve into key points of contemporary feminism : invisibility of women and their reproductive and domestic role, difficulty in accessing college, sex segregation in education, family responsibilities or stereotypes in the novel.

The thesis pinpoints Virginia Woolf along six chapters and 150 pages A separate room is clear: the woman needs money and space itself (room, bedroom, study, …), which allows isolated from their family duties, in order to write freely. It has already passed into history one of his most famous quotes: “I said softly to drink wine and they had their own room.” A phrase that is still valid today: find your world, your space, your independence as a woman.

The book argues that the lack of this space and economic dependence, next to interest institutions such as the church or college female power to limit, give rise to the “suppressed poets”. That is, potential writers who have not been for the social and economic circumstances of the time, despite his talent and have many stories to tell. Virginia Woolf stories missing as a reader, as it would give birth to a female poetic universe all that has been hidden between the walls of a house. “It has immeasurably impoverished literature with doors that have been closed to women,” he says in chapter 5 of the book.

An own room is a call to reclaim the female voice and point of view of our mothers, written nine years after women reach an agreement in right to vote in Britain (in 1919). But 85 years later, he remains an overwhelming today. It is a pioneering text on conciliation or double shifts, violence against women, lesbianism or friendship between women. openly criticizes patriarchy and delves into existentialist theories, such as the need to structure the feminine and masculine universe of our brain (we are men or women) to make our writing more free, more suggestive and interesting to the reading public. “When this merger occurs, the mind is fully fertilized and uses all his faculties,” he writes in the last chapter.