Essay, Research Paper: Profession For Women By Virginia Woolf


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“Professions for Women” Through Virginia Woolf’s essay she shows how women
struggle in society. Due to these struggles, women are held back from expressing
their true selves. Virginia Woolf does not accept these struggles for she feels
that in order for any one person to be complete he or she has to explore who
they are as an individual. “Professions for Women” shows how a woman in
society wants to explore her abilities as a woman, but has many obstacles
holding her back. Virginia Woolf speaks through her persona in this essay by
relating to her struggle as a young girl wanting to be a writer. The little girl
wanted to write and wanted to explore her mind by letting it “sweep unchecked
round every rock and cranny of the world that lies submerged in the depths of
our unconscious being” (19). Like a fisherman, the girl wanted something,
which was to write, and she had to try to go after it, but there was many things
in her way. In essence the girl would never get that “larger fish”(19)
because she would always hit a rock or some boundary where her mind was not
supposed to go. Often, this is the case for women rather than for men. Due to
the way society views men, men are taught to go after that bigger fish and get
it. Woolf’s inner self understand the restrictions that women have. “ Be
sympathetic; be tender; flatter; deceive; use all the arts and wiles of our sex.
Never let anybody guess you have a mind of your own. Above all be pure” (18).
That inner self identifies with societies restraints of women to explore their
mind and their abilities. Societies views on men and women make it harder for
women to go after what they want. Men can just try to do something and achieve
what they want. Women, on the other hand, can try to achieve their highest goal
and it always seems like there is something in the way that makes it that much
more difficult to get it. Today’s society is very different from when Virginia
Woolf had these thoughts of repression. Woolf, in turn, has made it a lot easier
for women to look back at the way society used to be and change societies
thoughts. This was done in the hope that these same prejudices and obstacles
would not be in the way of women any longer. Over time it has become easier for
women to be writers and explore their mind, but for any woman there will always
be some sort of obstacle in the way. “she has still many ghosts to fight, many
prejudices to overcome”(20).
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