Sunday, September 29, 2019
A Room of OneÃ¢â¬â¢s Own: the Context of WomenÃ¢â¬â¢s Existence in Society Essay
Even though the texts were composed in different times and different literary forms, both composers sought to criticise the way that their context operated. In Virginia WoolfÃ¢â¬â¢s Ã¢â¬ËA Room of OneÃ¢â¬â¢s OwnÃ¢â¬â¢ (1928) and Edward AlbeeÃ¢â¬â¢s Ã¢â¬ËWhoÃ¢â¬â¢s Afraid of Virginia WoolfÃ¢â¬â¢(1962), both composerÃ¢â¬â¢s purpose is to bring both men and women into a clearer understanding of the ways in which women have been held back in western society and the role that illusions about gender roles have played in social interactions. We learn through comparing both texts that in order to obtain truth, both gendersÃ¢â¬â¢ perspectives must be taken into account Woolf, a constitutional suffragette, empowers women writers by first exploring the nature of women in fiction, and then by incorporating ideas of the androgynous mind and individuality as it exists in a womenÃ¢â¬â¢s experience as a writer. Ã¢â¬ they had been written in the red light of emotion and not in the white light of truthÃ¢â¬ Woolf writes in a way which we call stream of consciousness style to write this inclusive and conciliatory lecture. Her language and style is witty, and non-confrontational and makes her points in a meandering way. She does this to charm her audience into agreeing with her through her graceful style as a writer. Albee, contrastingly, uses a confrontational and visceral stage play to make his point about the destructiveness that results from trying to conform to expected gender roles. His language, characterisation, rhythm and tension are aggressive and shocking. He makes use of elements of Absurdism in order to comment upon the illogical and often bewildering nature of trying to negotiate gender relationships within his time. The American Dream was the illusion in his play, where the characters try to hide behind the illusions and felt that this would help them feel joy in attaining this AD. AlbeeÃ¢â¬â¢s purpose was to look behind the Ã¢â¬ËPerfectionsÃ¢â¬â¢ of the AD Ã¢â¬Å"All imbalances will be sifted outÃ¢â¬ ¦ Everyone will tend to be rather the sameÃ¢â¬ and show the way it was destru ctive as a model for relationships because it denies equality for men and women, which is what Virginia Woolf is searching for. In both texts there is a struggle for women to maintain their identity in a patriarchal society. Woolf presents the challenging idea that women could be as effective as men as writers of fiction if they were given the same means and tools to be able to compose, Ã¢â¬Å"A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.Ã¢â¬ This idea challenges the gender relationships established in her Victorian and early modernist context. In Ã¢â¬ËRoomÃ¢â¬â¢, Woolf blames the patriarchal society for oppressing women and subjugating individualÃ¢â¬â¢s identities, Ã¢â¬Å"and that, as you will see, leaves the great problem of the true nature of women. . .and fiction unresolvedÃ¢â¬ . She feels that the freedom of women to write is restrained by the expectations men have of what a woman should be. In other words, being a wife and the daily, culturally defined expectations of a female made it difficult for creativity and in particular the writing of fiction to be expressed in the Victorian era. Furthermore, Woolf states that even if a woman in such circumstances manages to write, using Charlotte Bronte as the example, Ã¢â¬Å"she will write in a rage where she should write calmly Ã¢â¬Å". Woolf shows here, using juxtaposition that a women writing out of frustration with the repression of her everyday life, will be an ineffective writer as she will write without an androgynous perspective. WoolfÃ¢â¬â¢s message, it seems, is that women must strive against the resistance of the patriarchal culture and attain some degree of independence and freedom from the restraints placed upon them by gender stereotypes. Similarly, AlbeeÃ¢â¬â¢s context, during the Cold war, has affected the way he has written Ã¢â¬ËWhoÃ¢â¬â¢s AfraidÃ¢â¬â¢ with the adjustment in tempo and style. This play shows the way that relationships, such as marriages, have become a battlefield in his post ww2 context, because of the tensions in gender relationships in the conservative era of America in the 1950s, where the AD outlined perceived ways that women and men should relate to one another. Martha is the older and the more dominant character between the two women in the text and is a model of women who have the money and Ã¢â¬Ëa room of their own.Ã¢â¬â¢ She has gained a measure of the independence that Woolf sought for women in her lecture. She is not ruled by her husband, George, their marriage is in fact quite the opposite. Martha does not live up to the societal expectations for a woman in her time as she is a bold and rebellious figure, using crass and unfeminine language, and telling anecdotes from hers and GeorgeÃ¢â¬â¢s personal life. This includes the story of her schoolgirl marriage to a man who Ã¢â¬Ëmowed the lawnÃ¢â¬ ¦sitting up there, all naked,..theorietically you canÃ¢â¬â¢t get an annulment if thereÃ¢â¬â¢s entrance.Ã¢â¬â¢ Contrastingly, Honey represents the vulnerable and withheld typical 1950s housewife, someone who does not have the voice and independence that Woolf hoped for. Her name symbolises to the responder that she isnÃ¢â¬â¢t an independent woman, she is reliant on the way that she is viewed by men, as sweet and gentle. This vulnerability and reliance shown in the anaphora, Ã¢â¬Å"IÃ¢â¬â¢ve never been so frightened in my life! Never!Ã¢â¬ . This play is a battlefield because women in both relationships are thwarted and oppressed, therefore Virigina WoolfÃ¢â¬â¢s hopes for independent, self-motivated women are not achieved in the female characters represented by Albee. The male characters in AlbeeÃ¢â¬â¢s play also show the illusory nature of the American Dream and the way that gender roles in the Cold War period were increasingly complex for members of both sexes. GeorgeÃ¢â¬â¢s character swings through moments of rage, frustration and cynicism as he watches his wife behave in a way that reflects badly upon him as a husband within his context. He alternately belittles lectures and reacts sarcastically to the woman that, at some points, the responder can see he still cares for. Nick, on the other hand, represents the Ã¢â¬ËfutureÃ¢â¬â¢ Ã¢â¬â a biologist who lacks the empathy and emotion that George displays. NickÃ¢â¬â¢s patronising treatment of Honey shows that he does not feel any respect or equality with her, and that he is consciously afraid that she has tricked him into a loveless and uneven marriage.