Thursday, November 6, 2008

Woolf's Composition Decisions

As promised in lecture, here is the text from the lecture slide on Virginia Woolf's composition decisions for “In Search of a Room of One’s Own.”

Purpose / Occasion—refutation of Charles Darwin in The Descent of Man, "man is superior to woman”:
    • Physically
    • Morally
    • Intellectually
    • Emotionally
    • Artistically
Form—Literary (belle lettres)
Device—oppose science and literature
Style & Content—literary
Technique—restraint, understatement
Specific devicelitotes

The shape of the essay—its structure—is subtle, allusive, artistic.
Result: culture not biology determines women’s location.