Analysis Of A Room Of One's Own By Virginia Woolf

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Through her starkly contrasting descriptions of the men's and women's dining halls at Oxford, Virginia Woolf highlights in her novel A Room of One's Own, the inequality of education between men and women in the 1920's. As a whole the dining halls not only represent a place to eat but also a place where, given the right conditions, profound discoveries can be made among like-minded people. Woolf alludes through her writing that by depriving women of a rich, comfortable environment they are essentially stripped of their ability to be brilliant. Despite the inequality of the meals Woolf's tactics in describing both are vaguely similar. During the first course of the men's luncheon party Woolf is served sole in a cream sauce. Utterly enchanted …show more content…
The use of such a beautiful and graceful animal leaves no room for any negative feelings towards the dish. In regards to the women's dinner Woolf again uses the image of an animal to convey her attitude towards the meal. This time however instead of a delicate doe, the beef she is served suggests the image of "rumps of cattle in a muddy market"(2) Words like "rumps" and "muddy" are not what one usually wants to hear in association with their food but in this context they help Woolf describe the disgust she feels towards her dinner. At first the descriptions of the food served may seem to of little purpose but towards the end of each excerpt the meaning of their mention becomes clear. After an extravagant and satisfying meal in the men's hall Woolf describes a feeling of complete contentment with the world. So much so that she depicts the image of while "lighting a good cigarette, one sunk into the cushions in the window-seat."(1) Clearly the meal put her and the other diners in an agreeable mood for conversation. Fueled by the satisfaction of the meal Woolf and the others are able to have profound and meaningful conversation due to the atmosphere of the dining hall. In comparison no one lingers in the women's dining hall after the meal

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