In Virginia Woolf's two passages describing two very opposite meals that was served at the men's college and the other at the women's college; reflects Woolf's attitude toward women's place in society.
When Woolf describes her meal at the men's college she describes in such a way that implies luxury and choice. The syntax and diction work with Woolf to possess this tone, "many, various, rewards, succulent, and heaven" all contribute to Woolf's view on men. The implication is she sees that men are of superiority to women further more the fact that men have choices in means is parallel with the idea that they have choices in society a la voting.
The description of the women's meal could be summed up in one word, plain. Syntactically there are many examples promoting the simplicity of women in society at the time. For the excerpt to open with, "Here was my soup," shows the monosyllabic words being used and the simplicity of the sentence all imply just that of women's roll in society; simple, short-lived, and unimportant. The sentence, "the plate was plain . . . transparent . . . no pattern," just so does a painter thinks of his canvas of white colorless. The quote reinforces that idea also illustrating that to use the plain ties in with women and their roll in society.
The behavior mentioned in the women's excerpt, "everyone scraped their chairs back; the swing-doors swung violently to and fro." The women being described are women who are careless of the way they carry themselves due to their place in society where they cannot do nothing but be a lady. For their behavior to be scraping their chairs and the effortless task of opening and closing a door exemplifies their tiredness with society and their attitude that they want a change.
Virginia's real purpose in her two passages in to inform her readers what she believes, women's purpose in society with the use of diction, syntax and other language elements.