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Freedom and Creativity of Women in Virginia Woolf

January 17, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 135

The central point of Woolf's A Room of One's Own is that every woman needs freedom-something men are able to enjoy without question. To create something women must be free financially as well as from all kinds of prejudices. Therefore, the room of women stands for many larger issues, such as privacy, leisure, and financial independence. Not only economic facts but also she emphasizes on an unprejudiced state of mind of women to show creativity. A room of one's own is a mighty proposition for women's independence in creative endeavors. In the past women were not allowed into particular universities and libraries-let alone given the opportunity to creatively express themselves. We will analyze Woolf's insight towards the necessity of financial freedom of women first in the essay.

For this, Woolf gives reference to the history where women had no money of their own. She gives information how the buildings of Oxford University have been constructed. When the age of faith was over and the age of reason came in the 18th century, merchant class and manufacturer were the patrons of the universities. At that time women had no money to contribute to the Oxford and Cambridge. That time universities founded by the industrialists.

A room of one's own is a mighty proposition for women's independence in creative endeavors. In the past women were not allowed into particular universities and libraries-let alone given the opportunity to creatively express themselves.

Much of 'A Room of One's Own' is dedicated to an analysis of the patriarchal English society that has limited women's liberty. Woolf reflects upon how men, the only gender allowed to keep their own money, have historically fed resources back into the universities and like institutions. These help they gain power in the first place. In contrast, the women's university, the narrator stays at had to scrap together funds when it was chartered. Woolf presents that women are not even allowed in the library at the men's college without special permission, or to cross the lawn.

Woolf repeatedly insists upon the necessity of an inheritance that requires no obligations and of the privacy of one's own room for the promotion of creative genius. Without money, women are slavishly dependent on men; without privacy, constant interruptions block their creativity. Freedom of thought is hampered as women consume themselves with thoughts of gender. Woolf insists, "A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to right fiction." Especially she holds that a woman should have 500 pounds per year and a room with a lock on the door. For her own money, Woolf relied on an inheritance from her aunt; she claims it was give to her "For no other reason than that [she] share[d] her name." The sum was 500 pounds per year, for the duration of Woolf's life; the same amount she insists is vital to any woman wishing to write.

For the narrator of 'A Room of One's Own' money is the primary element that prevents women from having a room of their own, and thus having a room of their own, and thus, having money is of the utmost importance. Because women do not have power, their creativity has been systematically stifled throughout the ages. The narrator writes, "Intellectual freedom depends upon material things. Poetry depends upon intellectual freedom. And women have always been poor, not for 200 years merely, but from the beginning of time..." She uses this quotation to explain why so few women have written successful poetry. She believes that the writing of novels lends itself more easily to frequent starts and stops, so women are more likely to write novels than poetry: women must content with frequent interruptions because they are so often deprived of a room of their own in which to write. Without money, women will remain in second place to their creative male counterparts. The financial discrepancy between men and women at the time of Woolf's writing perpetuated the myth that women were less successful writers.

Virginia Woolf's attention is drawn to a cat without a tail. The oddly jarring and incongruous sight of this cat is an exercise in allowing the reader to experience what it might feel to be a woman writer. Although the narrator goes on to make an interesting and valuable point about the atmosphere at her luncheon, she has lost her original point. This shift underscores her claim that women, who so often lack a room of their own and the time to write, cannot compete against the man who are not forced to struggle for such necessities.

Women have to free themselves from self-hatred and anger against men in order to show their creativity. Men always write negatively and rich men feel threatened that women can seize their power. Women have no confidence, as they are imprisoned. The sense of inferiority destroys their self-confidence and kills all the potentialities. They start to hate themselves. Therefore, Virginia Woolf's point is that women have to come out from such mental barriers. They have to free their minds. As they are colonized in the world of men, they have to decolonize their minds first. It is a way towards real freedom.

Virginia Woolf gives reference to Elizabethan age where there was no women writer to show her creativity. They had freedom only in fiction and plays of Shakespeare. Shakespeare transcends about women's freedom by creating Rosalind and Celia. In literature all these characters are created by male, women in literature have much strength and potentiality. In reality, they are slavish, dependent, and self-sacrificing character. Male writers upon them impose all these qualities. As women have no freedom represent them, men represent them in wrong way.

Giving importance to women's freedom Woolf has made an imaginary sister of Shakespeare with equal genius like her brother. Judith Shakespeare is just as talented as her brother is, but while his talents are recognized and encouraged by their family and the rest of the society, Judith's are under estimated and explicitly deemphasized. She writes but she is secretive and ashamed of it. She is engaged at a young age; when she begs not have to male, her beloved father beats her. She eventually commits suicide. Woolf invents the tragic figure of Judith to prove that a woman has talented, as Shakespeare could never have achieved such success. As women are maltreated in patriarchal society, they cannot flourish their creativeness.

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