A Room of One's Own: the Context of Women's Existence in Society

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Even though the texts were composed in different times and different literary forms, both composers sought to criticise the way that their context operated. In Virginia Woolf’s ‘A Room of One’s Own’ (1928) and Edward Albee’s ‘Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf’(1962), both composer’s purpose is to bring both men and women into a clearer understanding of the ways in which women have been held back in western society and the role that illusions about gender roles have played in social interactions. We learn through comparing both texts that in order to obtain truth, both genders’ perspectives must be taken into account Woolf, a constitutional suffragette, empowers women writers by first exploring the nature of women in fiction, and then by incorporating ideas of the androgynous mind and individuality as it exists in a women’s experience as a writer. ”they had been written in the red light of emotion and not in the white light of truth” Woolf writes in a way which we call stream of consciousness style to write this inclusive and conciliatory lecture. Her language and style is witty, and non-confrontational and makes her points in a meandering way. She does this to charm her audience into agreeing with her through her graceful style as a writer. Albee, contrastingly, uses a confrontational and visceral stage play to make his point about the destructiveness that results from trying to conform to expected gender roles. His language, characterisation, rhythm and tension are aggressive and shocking. He makes use of elements of Absurdism in order to comment upon the illogical and often bewildering nature of trying to negotiate gender relationships within his time. The American Dream was the illusion in his play, where the characters try to hide behind the illusions and felt that this would help them feel joy in attaining this AD. Albee’s purpose was to look behind the ‘Perfections’ of the AD “All imbalances will be sifted out... Everyone will tend to be rather the same”...
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