Virginia Woolf Summary

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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 how easy her job of being a journalist/writer is; this is the first step of her widening the gap between the audience and herself. Most authors try to create common ground with their audiences, but Woolf does the opposite. She does this in order to show her unique and unlikely background as a woman trying to find work. It creates a shock for the audience and lures them into what she has to say. The majority of the audience most likely believes that it was very tough for her and that she had to face a lot of adversity, but she crushed this idea by explaining how the “road was cut many years ago” and “there were very few material obstacles in my way.” She gives credit to the writers before her
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