Ashley’s Entry# 1: Response to Virgina Woolf’s “A Room of One’s Own”

“It is fatal to be a man or woman pure and simple; one must be be woman-manly or man-womanly. It is fatal for a woman to lay the least stress on any grievance; to plead even with justice any cause; in any way to speak consciously as a woman. And fatal is no figure of speech; for anything written with that conscious bias is doomed to death. It ceases to be fertilised…Some collaboration has to take place in the mind between the woman and the man before the act of creation can be accomplished” (904).

Woolf is simply asserting that the creative process can often be stifled by our own conscious biases. In order for a creative work to truly penetrate the mind, one must fixate his or her mind on a perspective opposite of their own. Society must feel that they are a part of the author’s assessment of the human experience– which includes the grievances of both men and women, singularly and collectively. To not collaborate consciousnesses is “fatal” because it tends to maintain the external dominant (male-privileged) voice. Furthermore, it lacks the “fullness” of any human experience(which includes male and female) and perpetuates the division between male and female–internally and externally.

One author to demonstrate the act of “man-womanliness” is Junot Diaz In his novel, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Woa. It is obvious that Diaz embodied the marginalized Dominican male and female during his creative process. He includes the perspectives and processes of the male(Oscar’s and his narrator) and female(Lola,La Inca and Beli) experience. Also, both male and female characters demonstrate a level of consciousness related to the opposite. Diaz’s novel presents itself  as a “full” assessment of Dominican society. He successfully counters the “fatality” because he assesses the human experience– not just the male experience.


One thought on “Ashley’s Entry# 1: Response to Virgina Woolf’s “A Room of One’s Own””

  1. I do feel that Junot Diaz’s portayal is somewhat suspect because they seem to be primarily sexual beings – it is only La Inca’s language that soothes the other female characters. Beli and Lola struggle to communicate at all. Anyway, I wonder if Diaz is really man-womanly which leads to the question, can any man accurately portray female relationships and can any woman accurately portray male relationship???

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