Writing on Women Writers

A site for college students to write about women writers.

Women – Women Relationships

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In the third chapter of “A Room of One’s Own,” Woolf mentions the author Mary Carmichael and her novel Life’s Adventure. Eventually, on page 56, she mentions two characters in the novel who are both female and have a very close connection. Not just a friendship, a relationship. She uses this as a metaphor by stating, “Chloe liked Olivia perhaps for the first time in literature” (56), to say women were not typically written into stories as two people in a relationship. While the author Mary Carmichael and her novel Life’s Adventure are entirely created by Woolf for this essay, it does not diminish the meaning behind the point she is trying to make. She experienced many different types of relationships in her life, both healthy and unhealthy as is evidenced at 9:50 in this video about her life.

However, despite what she could have written about men based upon this experience, she decided to write about women in relationships.

When I read this, my first thought was to interpret it as a way of Woolf reflecting on who she was. It is known that Woolf had relationships with men as well as women, and we discussed this in class, so I was inclined to think it was a way of her expressing her sexuality and that she took interest in both men and women.

However, when I took into consideration the motifs that I had been noticing in the previous chapters, I realized mentioning Life’s Adventure could have a completely different significance. It could also be an indication of the changes of women in society. Traditionally, they would stay at home and therefore would mainly converse with their family members. However, in order for two women to form a relationship they must have left the house to meet each other and continually do so. A Room of One’s Own continually brings up points about things women are beginning to do to break from tradition, and I believe Woolf’s decision to mention it this way was likely intentional, to make the reader think deeper.

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