Women's Place Is Not In The Home And Women's Role In A Room Of One's Own

Words
1475 (3 pages)
Downloads
22
Download for Free
Important: This sample is for inspiration and reference only

Table of contents

When you look at, 'The Cult of True Womanhood' by Barbara Welter 1820-1860 and 'A Room of One's Own' by Virginia Woolf, 1929, we will discuss the main purpose of these essays by showing similarities and differences that made those feminist essays the most influential and inspirational for women in 19th &20th -century.

Barbara Welter Was an American author enables people to understand the lives of women. Most women wrote for women's rights in the country, and Welter decided to take a different approach. The purpose of The Cult of True Womanhood ' is to educate people about the lives of women in the 19th century.

In her article, “The Cult of True Womanhood: 1820-1860,” Barbara Welter discusses the nineteenth-century ideal of the perfect woman this ideal of womanhood had essentially four parts that any good and proper young woman should cultivate:

(Piety, purity, domesticity, and submissiveness).

Adeline Virginia Woolf was an English writer, considered one of the most important modernist 20th-century authors and also a pioneer in the use of stream of consciousness as a narrative device.

In her feminist essay, A Room of One’s Own (1929), Virginia Woolf stresses the importance of female education and independence. As the title suggests, she explains that women need a space of their own. One of the most important female authors of the twentieth century, the piece is widely regarded as Woolf’s most significant feminist writing. Still influential, her works cause lively intellectual debate in contemporary literary circles.

In 1929, Woolf delivered lectures at Newnham and Girton Colleges, colleges within the University of Cambridge. A Room of One’s Own is an extended essay based on these two lectures. Woolf provides two main arguments: women have the right to be educated and independent; they also have the right to be respected as authors. They need, quite literally, a room of their own to write in.

The cult of true womanhood was part of the separate spheres philosophy. This philosophy divided the world into two different spheres of influence for men and women – public and private. Women held dominion over the home and children, or the private sphere. Men, on the other hand, handled the world of politics, commerce, and law – the public sphere.similarliy the first point Woolf makes is that women don’t have access to a space to write and thrive unless they come from rich families. Men, on the other hand, always have space to create. They have opportunities that only a very few privileged women have. Woolf laments that it is not possible for women to leave their mark on literary tradition unless they have the same opportunities as men. She worries that we have lost a lot of talent and valuable stories over the centuries because of this.

'In the cult of true womanhood ', One of the most important functions of woman as comforter was her role as a nurse...There were enough illnesses of youth and age, major and minor, to give the nineteenth century American woman nursing experience. The sickroom called for the exercise of her higher qualities of patience, mercy, and gentleness as well as her housewifely arts. She could thus fulfill her dual feminine function – beauty and usefulness, likewise 'A Room of One’s Own' Woolf delivers her lectures at the University of Cambridge, she is speaking to women who have had the luxury of an education. She warns them not to take their position for granted, and to use the skills they have been given for the betterment of society. She urges them to remember that, while they have these opportunities now, they can just as easily be taken away.

No time to compare samples?
Hire a Writer

✓Full confidentiality ✓No hidden charges ✓No plagiarism

'In the cult of true womanhood ', the female was dangerously addicted to novels, according to the literature of the period. She should avoid them, since they interfered with 'serious piety.' If she simply couldn't help herself and read them anyway, she should choose edifying ones from the lists of morally acceptable authors... Nineteenth century knew that girls could be ruined by the book... Books which attacked or which seemed to attack woman's accepted place were regarded as dangerous. [Women] were so susceptible to persuasion, with their 'gentle yielding natures' that they might listen to the 'bold ravings of the hard-featured of their own sex.' The frightening result: 'such reading will unsettle them for their true station and pursuits, and they will throw the world back again into confusion Whereas , Woolf’s conclusion is that literature is not just for some of us, or only for men—it is for everyone. It is in everyone’s interest to make sure we all have the chance to write and enjoy literature. We all have the right to see ourselves represented in literature. For women, this means having the opportunity to write their own narratives, not just reading works written by men describing who they think women are.

A nineteenth‐century middle‐class family did not have to make what it needed in order to survive. Men could work in jobs that produced goods or services while their wives and children stayed at home. When husbands went off to work, they helped create the view that men alone should support the family. This belief held that the world of work, the public sphere, was a rough world, where a man did what he had to in order to succeed, that it was full of temptations, violence, and trouble. A woman who ventured out into such a world could easily fall prey to it, for women were weak and delicate creatures. A woman's place was therefore in the private sphere, in the home, where she took charge of all that went on. Just like Woolf touches on how her father feels about women’s education. Being very traditional, he believes that only men should read and write in a formal way. He doesn’t understand his daughter’s desire to make women equal to men, and for this reason, they never fully relate to each other. She only makes brief references to her father—the focus of the essay is not on her own relationships.

'In the cult of true womanhood ', this ideal of womanhood had essentially four parts‐‐four characteristics any good and proper young woman should cultivate: piety, purity, domesticity, and submissiveness:

Ideal Number One: Piety

Nineteenth‐century Americans believed that women had a particular propensity for religion. The modern young woman of the 1820s and1830s was thought of as a new Eve working with God to bring the world out of sin through her suffering, through her pure and passionless love.

Ideal Number Two: Purity

Female purity was also highly revered. Without sexual purity, a woman was no woman, but rather a lower form of being, a ʺfallen woman,ʺ unworthy of the love of her sex and unfit for their company.

Ideal Number Three: Submissiveness

This was perhaps the most feminine of virtues. Men were supposed to be religious, although not generally. Men were supposed to be pure, although one could really not expect it. But men never supposed to be submissive. Men were to be movers, and doers‐‐the actors in life.Women were to be passive bystanders, submitting to fate, to duty, to God, and to men.

Ideal Number Four: Domesticity

Woman's place was in the home. Woman's role was to be busy at those morally uplifting tasks aimed at maintaining and fulfilling her piety and purity.

To be the same as Woolf provides two main arguments: women have the right to be educated and independent; they also have the right to be respected as authors. They need, quite literally, a room of their own to write in. Woolf teaches her audience the dangers of complacency. They cannot forget the struggles of historical women, because they will lose any progress they’ve made. It is up to privileged women who have opportunities to fight for their right to be equal to men. It is up to them to create a better future for their children and grandchildren..

The conclusion of both essays:

The American woman had her choice-she could define her rights in the way of the women's magazines and insure them by the practice of the requisite virtues, or she could go outside the home, seeking other rewards than love. It was a decision on which, she was told, everything in her world depended.

Women's Rights' meant one thing to reformers, but quite another to the True Woman. She knew her rights,

  • The right to love whom others scorn,
  • The right to comfort and to mourn,
  • The right to shed new joy on earth,
  • The right to feel the soul's high worth.

Woolf’s conclusion is that literature is not just for some of us, or only for men—it is for everyone. It is in everyone’s interest to make sure we all have the chance to write and enjoy literature. We all have the right to see ourselves represented in literature. For women, this means having the opportunity to write their own narratives, not just reading works written by men describing who they think women are 

You can receive your plagiarism free paper on any topic in 3 hours!

*minimum deadline

Cite this Essay

To export a reference to this article please select a referencing style below

Copy to Clipboard
Women’s Place Is Not In The Home And Women’s Role In A Room Of One’s Own. (2021, July 28). WritingBros. Retrieved June 19, 2024, from https://writingbros.com/essay-examples/womens-place-is-not-in-the-home-and-womens-role-in-a-room-of-ones-own/
“Women’s Place Is Not In The Home And Women’s Role In A Room Of One’s Own.” WritingBros, 28 Jul. 2021, writingbros.com/essay-examples/womens-place-is-not-in-the-home-and-womens-role-in-a-room-of-ones-own/
Women’s Place Is Not In The Home And Women’s Role In A Room Of One’s Own. [online]. Available at: <https://writingbros.com/essay-examples/womens-place-is-not-in-the-home-and-womens-role-in-a-room-of-ones-own/> [Accessed 19 Jun. 2024].
Women’s Place Is Not In The Home And Women’s Role In A Room Of One’s Own [Internet]. WritingBros. 2021 Jul 28 [cited 2024 Jun 19]. Available from: https://writingbros.com/essay-examples/womens-place-is-not-in-the-home-and-womens-role-in-a-room-of-ones-own/
Copy to Clipboard

Need writing help?

You can always rely on us no matter what type of paper you need

Order My Paper

*No hidden charges

/