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  • Topic: Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Edward Albee, Sociology
  • Pages : 3 (1111 words )
  • Download(s) : 200
  • Published : March 27, 2013
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Analyse how Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and A Room of One’s Own imaginatively portray individuals who challenge the established values of their time. Literature is an evaluation of the established values of their time, a manifestation of the composer’s perspectives regarding key issues that characterised their zeitgeist. This is evident in Virginia Woolf’s polemical essay, A Room of One’s Own (1929), in which she portrays male anxiety towards women during the post-WWI period. Similarly, Edward Albee’s 1962 satirical drama, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf (Afraid) projects an analogous fear of female dominance, although in post-WWII American society. In a further comparison, both composers focus on the importance of wealth in society, where Woolf considers the significance of material security with regards to fiction writing in English society in the 1920s, whilst Albee criticises materialistic values in relation to social conformity in American society in the 1960s. Since the late 19th century female suffrage movement that empowered women, men feared being displaced from their traditional positions of authority. Woolf conveys these established patriarchal values through A Room of One’s Own, in her examination of the phallocentric literary sphere of the 1920s, where anybody could write literature, “save they [were] not women”. The symbolic title highlights women’s need for material security as a pre-condition “to writ[ing] fiction”, arguing that historically, men have denied women opportunities for achieving economic equality. Woolf’s ironic use of simile reinforces her hypothesis that “if only Mrs Seton … had learnt the great art of making money and had left their money, like their fathers … to found fellowships”. This highlights the historical lack of educational and financial opportunities for women. Furthermore, Woolf blames patriarchal values for institutionalising discriminatory practices in English society. At the fictional “Oxbridge”, a Beadle...
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