Virginia Woolf's Achievements And Legacy

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So, who deserves to be seen next on the 10-pound note. The face I think the UK should see for the next 10 years on the note is the face of Virginia Woolf. Ever heard of that name? Virginia Woolf is a name synonymous with modern British literature, and I will be going on to explain the ideas she brought to this country, and hopefully, by the end of this, you will also, maybe persuaded into sharing most of my view.

Now let me tell you a bit about her. Virginia Woolf was an English writer who lived her short life in the 20th century, the times where she was considered the most important author and a pioneer in the use of stream of consciousness as a narrative device, which in simple terms, means to depict the numerous thoughts and feelings which pass through the mind of the narrator through stories. For example, Mrs. Dalloway, her fourth novel. The mesmerizing story about young people forbidden to love, raised issues of feminism, mental illness, and homosexuality in post-World War I England. A central figure in the Bloomsbury Group, which remains an object of profound fascination today, Virginia Woolf has been hailed by readers, critics, feminists - and every combination of the three - for her work. She had a lesbian affair with the novelist and poet Vita Sackville-West. So, is it too much to suggest that putting Woolf on a banknote would strike a blow not only for women but also against prejudice?

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Now, I mentioned the Bloomsbury group but do you what it was or what it did? For those who don’t know, they were a group of writers, artists, and intellectuals including Vanessa ball, her sister, Woolf, who met in l homes in Bloomsbury, central London. They shared ideas, supported each other’s creative activities, and formed close friendships. They named themselves the “Bloomsberries” Group and their meetings continued for the next thirty years. They were mostly privileged and well-educated members of the upper-middle class. Yet, what separates them from other intellectual groups at the time was that they were the only group to support gay rights, women in the arts, pacifism, open marriages, uninhibited sexuality, and other unconventional ideas. Having grown up in Victorian households, the Group openly rejected the old Victorian ideals from their childhoods and adopted more liberal and progressive attitude, and as it said in an article “In short, they were determined to reinvent society, at least within their own circle.”

They also had their own playful side. Ever heard of the dreadnought hoax? In 1910, some members of the Bloomsbury Group, including Woolf, made national headlines when they dressed up as Abyssinian ambassadors and tricked the British Navy into giving them an exclusive tour of their flagship, the HMS Dreadnought, the incident that came to be known as the Dreadnought Hoax.

Unfortunately, all good things come to an end, members began to fall like dominoes, and Woolf herself was troubled by bouts of mental illness, which included being institutionalized and attempting suicide. Her illness is considered to have been bipolar disorder, for which there was no effective intervention at the time. She had lost her mother and father at a young age and along with the recent deaths of her friends and her long-known condition of suffering from depression, eventually in 1941, she committed suicide by putting rocks in her pockets and drowning herself in a river, at the age of 59.

But as I mentioned at the start she had had short but inspirational life, even after death people admired her writings and later exhibitions. Stives was where she had lived till 1895 and also where she got the inspiration for her most famous novel, To the Lighthouse. Her exhibition, lead by her writing can be seen in the Tate gallery in Stives. She wrote many books and many of these books became and remain best-sellers which then turned into films. She remains one of the most influential authors of the 21st century and her works continue to be translated into more languages and books are still written about her.

Woolf raised many issues many of which we face today, wouldn’t put her on the note raise more awareness for many of you would say there have already been many authors including Dickens and Shakespeare already been put on, however in my opinion women also needs more consideration, and if we’re going to honor towering figures of English literature, it only seems fair that the Godmother of modernist fiction gets a look-in. I believe that with all this fame, people are slowly forgetting all the work she has put into this world, without her there would be no Bechdel Test, the feminist benchmark for movies, maybe by putting her on the note, we can still continue to respect and remember her.

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