Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Student Responses to "A Room of One's Own" by Virginia Woolf

Virginia Woolf says that a woman needs a room and money to write fiction. Being a feminist, myself, I have multiple reactions to these socalled "necessities." Woolf emphasizes a woman's need for her own personal space to think and create work. I wonder if this means that women should be confined to a room with four walls, or, if this is a metaphorical room, how open is it? A "room" in nature might spark more creativity and originality than a room inside a building...An isolated room in a house ties into the need for money as wealthy individuals have extra space in their homes to create rooms for leisure...Money can help one attain her goals due to the connections money brings. Money can help a woman publish. -- Allison Wolff

A woman needs to be able to express her genuine opinions...Having money and a room gives a woman independence and privacy, which are vital when expressing one's opinions...Independence gives a woman more confidence to write her real thoughts...Privacy enables her to form her own opinions and express them with complete honesty. Having a room on one's own allows a woman to be free from the influence of others. -- Mila Scheinberg

Woolf means this both literally and figuratively. Literally, a woman requires money to create and publish her first book and a literal room of her own as a place to gather her thoughts and translate those onto paper. Figuratively, money may symbolize power and influence....A woman would need some sort of influence in the work environment or have a personality in which she creates and exudes a confidence that demands respect. A room of one's own represents any surrounding in which a person is most comfortable and which provides her with inspiration. -- Evan Sternshein

Woolf means to deliver the statement both literally and figuratively. She means literally money and a room, but she also means both money and a room figuratively to represent seclusion from the rest of a society that oppresses women. As money and a room are all a person need in order to survive, Woolf is also suggesting that women must not be worried about basic survival. -- Sally Choi

Woolf says that a woman needs money and a room of her own to write fiction -- money and a private area where she can write in secret -- because women writers were often male writers with male pen names. -- Maddy Weiss

A woman needs a room to prove her independence. A man needs the room to have faith in women. -- Sam Soltani

Woolf's argument is complexly layered; to boil it down to a concentrated, concise concept is challenging...Does this apply to fields beyond fiction...to math, the sciences, etc? -- Max Eagle

Woolf says this figuratively in my opinion. A room of one's own symbolizes an area of peace that would be helpful in fostering a woman's capacity to write fiction. Woolf goes extensively into the time periods where the creativity of women has been stifled by a male sense of superiority. She states that the most important thing a writer can have is an open mind which is only possible when a person can experience the world in its entirety. Woolf argues that this has historically been impossible for women who have been confied to set social roles. The room is arguably, then, the space to be equal. -- Eli Flesch

Even thought Woolf's purpose is to further the feminist cause, I feel that by distinguishing male and female writers, Woolf is making men and women less equal. If her purpose is to persuade people that men and women should be treated equally, it would futher her argument and the feminist cause if she were to classify male and female writers together. -- Naz Novinbakht

And "What does a modern day feminist look like?"

I believe the modern day feminist is somewhat of an expansion of the traditional feminist and includes anyone who has witnessed, directly or indirectly, female subjugation even to the slightest degree. The modern feminist can be anyone. (S)he can range from a mistreated woman to a young boy who sees his mother earning lower pay than her male counterparts. -- Rachel Lee

A modern-day feminist does not believe anything basically different from a feminist of any other time in history. While the issues themselves might change -- from land ownership to voting rights to wage equality -- feminism at its core is about equality between the sexes. -- Zachary Fouladian

A modern feminist believes that she is strong and independent. She can be just as successful as a man or even more successful. She does things for herself and for her own happpiness, not to please a man. She is a woman that a man needs, not one that needs a man. She is satisfied with herself and dares to be different. She believes that she is strong, regardless of what others might say or think about her. She buys a $500 pair of heels because she feels sexy wearing them, not because she wants attention from guys. She looks good for herself and not to impress anyone else. She'll sit in front of the mirror doing her make-up so she can embrace her beauty and feel confident in the way she looks. She is a great friend to all of the women in her life. She supports them. She is content with being single because she loves herself and doesn't need a man to validate her or to make her feel special. She is tall and voluptuous. Her weight doesn't bother her because she believes she is beautiful. Her wide structure is something she embraces. Her thick eyebrows make a statement and show off the determination in her eyes. She has strong teeth that go along with her big, proud smile. -- Emily Ebrahimian

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