This paper analyzes the first chapter of 'A Room of One's Own', and specifically the gardens of Oxbridge and Fernham. Virginia Woolf uses these two gardens to support her comparison between the status of men 'and women. In effect, they symbolize order versus chaos, rigidity versus creativity, and men's prosperity versus women's poverty. This two-page paper closes by noting that the expectations of women are, in fact, illusions and that women must find their own way.
In the first chapter of 'A Room of One's Own', Virginia Woolf details the gardens of Oxbridge and Fernham, not only for the sake of providing description on her walks, but to support her comparison between the status of men and women. In essence, the gardens of Oxbridge and Fernham symbolize order versus chaos, and more importantly, men's prosperity versus women's poverty.
[...] Later, as the sun is setting, she describes something entirely different, gardens of Fernham lay before me in the spring twilight, wild and open, and in the long grass, sprinkled and carelessly flung, were daffodils and bluebells, not orderly perhaps at the best of time, and now wind-blown and waving (1992, p. 16-17). Here, Woolf seems to capture the wildness of creativity and femininity, when not limited by tradition or societal expectation. Woolf uses the words of the male and female poets, Alfred Tennyson and Christina Rossetti to support her argument. [...]
[...] Certainly not starting and operating a business, instead women have been busy bearing and raising children. Furthermore, Woolf points out that even if a woman did have money, she probably would leave it to her husband. The ornate houses and buildings with their high domes and pinnacles, Woolf describes in the garden of Oxbridge, are none other than the products of men's prosperity. While, at the garden of Fernham, she instead describes the weeping willows, the river, and the flowers in the wind, perhaps too as a representation of [...]
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