Virginia Woolf Biography

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Virginia Woolf used the pretense of universality in her writing as a front for her struggle for women's liberty. Despite her rejection of the feminist label, Virginia Woolf's goal in writing To The Lighthouse and Mrs. Dalloway was to fight for feminist causes, not universal equality. "It seems to me difficult to defend Mrs. Dalloway from moral judgments that call Woolf's stance wholly nihilistic.  (Bloom, Modern Critical Views: Virginia Woolf pp. 1-6) Woolf was motivated by her feminist causes in writing To The Lighthouse and Mrs. Dalloway: Although these novels do not explicitly state feminist doctrines, the main characters in both are independent women who are either unsatisfied with their present lives and husband or are the matriarchal leaders of their families and Brahman of their social circles. "The lack of economic freedom breeds resentment, the noisy assertive resentment of the male, who insists on claiming his superiority, and the shrill nagging resentment of the female who clamors for rights.  (Bell, Virginia Woolf Volume II: Mrs. Woolf 1912-1941 p.144) The protagonist in these novels were spawned from Woolf's personal experiences with female repression and mental illness. The novel's biting social commentary and uninhibited, by 1920s' standards, stream of consciousness style attest to the profundity of Woolf's prose. Woolf's goal in writing these novels was not entertainment; she was eliciting social change to the best of her abilities.

From Woolf's beginnings as a writer in the Bloomsbury Group, she has set herself apart from other writers with her atypical style of writing, overzealous

feminist directives, and rejection of the feminist label. "Woolf's main object was

to use the stream of consciousness poetically and to integrate it into the design

as whole in conjunction with other images.  (Freedman, The Lyrical Novel pp. 201-2) Woolf's stream of consciousness is a conduit fo

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