Virginia Woolf's A Room

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Another unusual trait of Woolf’s style is her frequent use of the personal pronoun “one” instead of the first person singular pronoun “I”. the ‘I’ in A Room might be conceived of as a traditional first-person narrator whose purpose it is to relate or communicate a story, or she can be perceived of as the traditional essayist, whose ‘I’ is at the centre, “[t]herefore I propose, making use of all the liberties and licences of a novelist, to tell you the story of the two days that preceded my coming here” (6). This statement by Woolf signify that the narrator who is telling the story will be active within this story. We also should know that the narrator’s ‘I’ is not linked to one steady character or person and how this affects the representation…show more content…
The “I” Woolf refers to in this passage is from a book written by Mr. A, and the phallic quality of “the straight dark bar”, the “I”, becomes very obvious when she describes the consequences of the shade this “giant” casts: “The worst of it is that in the shadow of the letter ‘I’ all is shapeless as mist. Is that a tree? No, it is a woman. [...] Then Alan got up and the shadow of Alan at once obliterated Phoebe. For Alan had views and Phoebe was quenched in the flood of his views” (Woolf, ROO 115-16). These images of nature help to visualise the dominance men have had over women and explain why it was so difficult for women to find enough ‘nourishment’ to develop. Hence, the imagery appeals to both our pathos and logos. Woolf’s use of the pronoun “one” in A Room of One’s Own could therefore be seen as a strategy to cultivate a common ground where she can reach both genders and allow women and men to grow, since “one” is neutral with no phallocentric associations and since it is probably easier for a man to identify with this unbiased pronoun instead of the female “I” of a woman…show more content…
Directed towards dialogism and along the same lines, Melba Cuddy- Keane and Leila Brosnan, in particular, call attention to the communication that takes place within the essay. Therefore, the presence of dialogue and the inclusion of a multitude of voices are dependent on the narrative composition and its many layers. Without actually showing how narrative levels are set in motion, Beth Rigel Daughterly, for instance, notes that Woolf “revolutionized feminist persuasion by creating a layered narrative” (101). In A Room of one’s Own there are various narrative concepts. The notions of an audience, narratees, multiple voices, and narrative levels are important that the narrator can be conceived of as stable and unstable, as static and dynamic, as singular and multiple, as individual and collective, real and fictive, anonymous and personified, and as personal and impersonal. These aspects are crucial for the unfolding discussion about Woolf’s dialogue with patriarchy, the presence of many and fluctuating selves, and for an understanding of how the narrator affects the
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