Virginia Woolf Essay

872 words - 4 pages

Virginia Woolf is remembered as both a feminist and a modernist whose novels often ignored traditional plots to follow the inner lives and musings of her characters. Name at birth: Adeline Virginia Stephen. Virginia Woolf, born in London on January 25, 1882, was the daughter of Julia Jackson Duckworth, a member of the Duckworth publishing family, and Leslie Stephen, a literary critic and founder of the Dictionary of National Biography . Woolf, growing up at the family estate at Hyde Park Gate, was educated at home by her father and she never went to school. Virginia was allowed uncensored access to her father’s extensive library, and from an early age determined to be a writer.

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Since about 1908 Virginia had been writing her first novel The Voyage Out. It was finished by 1913 but, owing to another severe mental breakdown (a suicide attempt), it was not published until 1915 by. The novel was fairly conventional in form.
She then began writing her second novel Night and Day - if anything even more conventional - which was published in 1919. It was a realistic novel set in London, contrasting the lives of two friends, Katherine and Mary. Her next work - Jacob's Room (1922) was based upon the life and death of her brother Toby.

With To The Lighthouse (1927) and The Waves (1931), Woolf established herself as one of the leading writers of modernism. In these works, Woolf was known for developing innovative literary techniques. Mrs. Dalloway (1925) is constructed of a giant, interwoven web of thoughts of several groups of people during the course of a single day, culminating in a party hosted by the titular character.

Virginia Woolf's feminist ideals form the basis of one of her most famous works, A Room Of One's Own (1929), which details the obstacles and prejudices that have hindered women writers, as well as exploring the possibility of the androgynous mind in the last chapter. In an earlier work, the Three Guineas (1938), Woolf examined the necessity for women to make a claim for their own history and literature. Orlando (1928), her fantasy novel, traced the career of the protagonist from a masculine identity within the Elizabethan court to a feminine identity in...

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