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Professions for Women Essay

1. According to Virginia Woolf, what are two main obstacles to women’s professional identity? Are these still the two main obstacles, or does the contemporary women face different hurdles? Explain. The two main obstacles to women’s professional identify is the expectations of society and the expectations she has for herself. These obstacles still exist today but to a certain degree. In 1930 society’s expectation for women was to stay home to cook and clean, now women are still seen to do this but are also seen to have a job. Women also give themselves high expectations for many things as they did in the 1930’s.

2. What is the Origin of the “Angel in the House” (para. 3)? Consult the Language of Composition Web site for background information: .Why is this an appropriate or effective frame of reference for Woolf? The origin of the “Angel in the House” came from a poem written in the 1900’s about self sacrificing heroine which represents the ideal Victorian women; a woman who was sympathetic, very charming, and unselfish. Including the “Angel in the House” is appropriate because she talks about killing this phantom which meant she was free to express herself, which inspired many women.

3. What do you think Woolf means in paragraph 5 when she asserts that “a novelist’s chief desire is to be as unconscious as possible”? Do you agree that someone who writes fiction should be “unconscious”? Why do you think a novelist would want to be “unconscious” or would benefit from being “unconscious”? I think what Woolf means by “a novelist’s chief desire is to be unconscious as possible” (paragraph 5). Is that when a writer begins to write they disappear into their own words and continue to write without stopping. I agree that someone who writes fiction should be “unconscious” because it helps them describe the character they are portraying better.

4. In paragraph 5 and 6, Woolf explores the consequences of being unable to tell “the truth” about her own “experiences as a body.” What does she mean” Why does she believe that surmounting this obstacle is more difficult – perhaps impossible at the time she was writing – that “killing the Angel in the House”? Woolf means that women still have to hide behind lies, like a fake name, to have a book published. She believes the surmounting this obstacle is more difficult because women were not seen as equals in the 1930’s they were more seen as property of the husband or father.

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