Virginia Woolf Speech Analysis

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The speech given by Virginia Woolf to a branch of the National Society for Women’s service on January 21, 1931 illustrating what a female writer must go through in order to be successful. Instead of standing before the women and explaining how difficult her journey was, she downplays her experiences and does so in order to convince the women how easy her profession of writing has been. By doing this, she creates a gap between herself and the audience, one that requires the audience to be open-minded and to look at women’s jobs through a different lense. Throughout the essay, she widens the gap, but then closes the gap in order to create common ground with the audience that will help her audience better relate to her ideas. Woolf opens her speech by completely coming out and describing…show more content…
The little angel is constantly reminding Woolf to not allow people “to guess you have a mind of your own.” Woolf has to kill the angel or else she beleieves that the angel would “plucked the heart out of [her] writing.” The angel represents all of the hardships women face for simply being a woman. They are told to not have opinions and to do anything to please men, even “tell lies.” In order to be a writer, one must have an opinion on what they are writing about, or else their work will be dull. In order to have an opinion, Woolf had to “kill” the angel and free herself of all of the general feminine stereotypes. Woolf’s personification exemplifies the story about the angel and has a great affect on her speech. It is the first common ground the author creates with the audience because every woman has to overcome the stereotypes if they want to be
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