Review: A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf

Hello! I know I haven’t posted in a while, but midterms completely swamped me and I didn’t have much time to do anything. But now that I’m on break, I’m planning on stocking up on a couple posts so I can prepare for finals. Midterms also meant that I had to put off reading for a bit, but I finally got back into it this weekend with A Room of One’s Own. I feel like A Room of One’s Own is a book that I’ve been meaning to get around to for years now, but got caught up by flashier, more modern books. I vividly remember in grade 11 my English teacher recommended this book to me, and I ended up reading maybe the first ten pages, and then returning it. I bluffed that i had read it, and then went on to read his other suggestions (which included The Old Man and the Sea, which I did greatly enjoy).

But this year, when I popped into a second-hand bookstore near my school and was browsing the $1 shelf, this one caught my eye. I picked it up (despite the fact that some of the pages of the book was falling out) and kept it on my shelf for months, before I was finally able to start this on my plane ride home yesterday. And boy oh boy, let me tell you, this was the first time I took the time to write down quotes I liked and wanted to remember in my phone.

I can understand why I stopped when I was younger – the beginning is a little dry, and I don’t think I fully understood that the majority of the book was hypothetical. But now that I get it, I really enjoyed the Mary Seton/Beton portion of the book. It was a interesting change from what I normally read (which is mainly in the genre of fantasy, YA, fiction, etc.). The fact that this was written nearly 90 years ago is amazing – and comparing how far we’ve come in Woolf’s predictions is astounding, and her writing really rings true.

She states that what a woman needs to write is 500 pounds a year and a room of her own. She also says that women were disadvantaged from the beginning – not only due to lack of education, but also due to the lack of self-confidence in their writing and from the lack of respect of other writers. Some of the quotes in the book are simply amazing (I’ll list my favourite below!). But she also really dives deep into how ego affects our actions and the actions of those around us.  

The novel was adapted from two papers that she had written in 1928, and is a very cool study of early feminism (in my opinion). She talks about the systemic disadvantages that women have, and how it’s been that way for years.

All in all, I think it’s a lovely book to read if you have a couple hours to devote to it (it’s only 112 pages, or at least my edition was, but I found it better to read it slower in order to digest it better).

Anyways, 4/5 stars for this book!

Have a good day ducks!

  • Mon

(All quotes are taken from A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf)
“Why are women so much more interesting to men than men are to women?”

“‘Wise men never say what they think of women’. Wise men never say anything else apparently”

“Life for both sexes is arduous, difficult, a perpetual struggle. It calls for gigantic courage and strength. More than anything it calls for confidence in oneself.”

“I need not flatter any man; he has nothing to give to me”

“There would always have been that assertion – you cannot do this, you are incapable for that – to protest against, to overcome”

“A giant cucumber”

“Lock up your libraries if you like; but there is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind”

“The book has somehow to be adapted to the body”

“Let us admit in the privacy of our own society that these things sometimes happen. Sometimes women do like women.”

“It is much more important to be oneself that anything else”  

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