Style Analysis of Professions for Women
Virginia Woolf’s extroverted dignity shows she is a figure for many other women to look at. She stresses her dexterity to fight against what society has in mind for women like her, encouraging women to be who they want to be. In doing so, she hopes to have cracked the glass ceiling that holds women from their natural rights.
The author uses clear diction when she depicts three unique metaphors: the Angel in the House, the fisherman, and the empty rooms. While telling the story of the Angel of the House, she showed extreme disgust for the woman who “bothered” and “wasted” her time, and “tormented” her to ignore her calling. Although the Angel was “pure,” Woolf recalls that if the Angel were not rid of, she would have “plucked the heart out of [her] writing,” so instead, Woolf killed her. The author then describes the metaphor of the fisherman in the form of a girl. In the girl’s dream, she let her “imagination sweep unchecked round every rock and cranny of the world” able to explore and think what she wanted to without a second thought. Then before the fisherman knew it, her “line” was lost, her imagination “dashed” into “something hard,” and the girl was “roused from her dream.” By telling about the fisherman, she was able to show how censored woman’s minds were because they were always “impeded by the extreme conventionality of the other sex.” Woolf then speaks of the empty rooms that women were able to possess, “though not without great labour and effort to pay the rent.” She challenges women to “decorate” and “furnish” the room with their accomplishments and beliefs and were they to “share” it, to do so with caution and to an extent. She affirms this to explain that when one has achieved so much independently, not to let a man come to take one’s achievement away.The author’s syntax moves from parallelism to short sentences to anaphora’s. In the beginning, Woolf uses parallelism. She says many women had been before her, “making the path smooth,” and “regulating [her] steps. The use of the same verb tense gives a smooth rhythm or flow just as women before her gave her a smooth path. Woolf establishes her ethos by crediting these female authors, reminding her audience that these women overcame many of the “obstacles” to widen the barrier for a future generation of women. As her speech continues, Woolf includes the use of short, simple sentences to describe the “Angel in the House.” She does this to mirror women as being simplistic and not thinking broad, complex thoughts. Due to the Angel being adamant about woman’s intuition, Woolf indicates that she despises the idea of even being the “Angel in the House” through her brusque descriptions. To conclude her speech, Woolf uses anaphora’s. By repeating the word “you,” she puts weight on the women in her audience. She indicates that only they can make change for themselves, that they can only one day find equality with men, and they they can only be the ones “to decide for [themselves] what the answers should be.”
In conclusion, Woolf’s extroverted dignity reveals that while women of her time did not question the authority of society, she did. She inspired many women to think beyond their imagination into deep depths, to not let man’s judgment taint their thoughts. By doing so, she became a role model for many bright women, beginning the crack on the glass.
Woolf’s use of detail gives off an understatement when viewing her own accomplishments. She said her profession was literature, but that the “road was cut many years ago” making her “path smooth, and regulating [her] steps,” which helped her career build. In doing so she created a sense of serenity among humble women too tentative to start a profession. Along with this, she names a list of very famous classical authors before her time. When Woolf did this, she was actually comparing and including herself with these adept women. She also felt that “the reason why women have succeeded as writers before” was because of “the cheapness of writing paper,” which did not “demand” any money from the “family purse.” Woolf’s logic was to emphasize on how anybody could write, just as long as “one has a mind that way.” Surprisingly, men also played a small part in women writer’s success. They viewed women as harmless and having only thoughts of socializing and “housework.” This stereotype made women work harder and step out of man’s shadow to “[succeed] in other professions.”
This entry was posted in Spring 2009
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