Virginia Woolf's Feminist Analysis

1096 Words5 Pages
Engwr 300
Essay 3
Dr. Jordan
Reframing Feminism for Black Women
Beautiful gardens and handmade colorful quilts are not often the symbols of rebellion, however, in Alice Walker’s In Search of Our Mothers’ Gardens, these are the pictures of defiance. As she speaks of resilience, spirituality and the need to create, Walker explores what happened to our mothers’ minds when they were placed in systems of oppression unable to pursue higher learning and ‘refined’ art. One overarching theme in Walker’s essay is the idea of a legacy for women and the ability to create art; a theme which is paralleled in the book A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf, which Walker quotes several times within her essay. Walker uses Woolf’s ideas as a feminist scaffold upon which she builds up blackness. Alice Walker quotes and adapts Virginia Woolf’s writing to reframe it for black women. She inserts and changes words to reshape Woolf’s writing to reach black feminists and to tell the painful narrative of black women’s history.
It is clear that Alice Walker has respect for Virginia Woolf, and while she does not tear Woolf down in her essay, she also does not sing Woolf’s praises. By using quotes from Woolf, Walker is able to contrast her own experiences, and those of other black women, with Woolf’s ideas about feminism. Virginia Woolf was British, white, and privileged; she had a prominent voice among peers and was held in high regard. Walker was able to take Woolf’s quotes and inserts
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