Women and Writing Characters

Women and Writing Character List

Virginia Woolf

The essayist who tells of her colleagues in literature. She describes life as a woman artist in a world that isn't quite interested in her point of view. She explores her relationships to other artists and the writing that other artists have written, and she finds that although there were women authors, they were typically only successful if the wrote as the men in their day wrote. She finds herself locked in this dilemma, with an artistic heritage that is replete with male voices.

Emily Bronte

This writer was famous in her day, but Woolf critiques her writing to explore her theory that Bronte was actually only successful because she made a product that was similar enough to the male writers of her time, such that even Bronte's success (Wuthering Heights) isn't evidence that anyone has every been truly interested in a woman's approach to literature. In other words, she feels Bronte often wrote with a male voice.

Jane Austen

That doesn't mean there are no women in literature who write novels in a female way. Woolf says that this famous author, Jane Austen, brought her full womanhood to her artistic craft, and that makes her a good example of mastery, because Austen's success isn't the same as an artist who writes with a male voice—it does represent woman's arts being held in higher regard. Woolf says Austen is like a hero for this.

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