Three Guineas would have to be my least favorite of the Virginia Woolf works that we read for class. There is no denying Woolf’s talent. It’s obvious that she is a brilliant writer, but I can also see why this was not a fascinating read for anyone in our class. Like A Room of One’s Own, it’s a long essay with a narrator. A narrative essay, I suppose. It is in the form of epistolary, or written in letters. Woolf attempts to answer three questions, or argue three points.
Her first question is how is it possible to prevent war? Woolf is a socialist and despises warfare. She is horrified by the Spanish war and the grotesque images that are being published in the newspapers. She is constantly reinforcing that women and children, civilians, are being murdered pointlessly in the war. She keeps talking about the dying children and battered houses. She uses constant repetition. I understood what she was trying to do. She was so desperate, or anxious to get her point across to the reader, and maybe the average reader, that she had to keep reiterating her point. I felt like she was banging on my head saying, “Remember this, listen to this, take this in, be horrified and then do something.”
Unfortunately, I don’t know what can be done? In the second half of her novel, she addresses women’s issues. She is very angry about the funding for women’s education and institutions. She claims that while men are given the chance to a wonderful education, with hundreds of thousands of pounds supporting the institution, the women’s universities lack appropriate funding. While the male’s colleges are ornate and large, the women’s universities are mundane and simple.
I still don’t really understand the purpose of the title, Three Guineas. I understand that it is an amount of money, 21 shillings. I also realize that it has something to do with upper class society. This is where I get confused though. Virginia Woolf is not poor. She makes a decent amount of money, lives off of an allowance, and has servants. She isn’t living in a hut or starving. Essentially, she is referring to herself. I know that she wasn’t filthy rich, but she wasn’t hurting either. It just seems ironic to be shunning the upper class public when someone could be pointing the finger at her.
I like that Woolf tries to tell people that while sending money will help solve some of the issues regarding war and women’s rights, it will not solve anything. If people just sit around and claim that they want to do something, they haven’t really done anything in the end.
Like I said in the beginning, I respect Three Guineas because it is well written. In A Room of One’s Own though she said that the problems facing women writers is that they can’t leave behind their bitterness. According to her, women show too much anger in their work. Again, this is another irony because Woolf sounds very angry in this work. She does try to downplay the anger with some humor, but it still comes out as being sarcastic and pissed off.
WELCOME TO MY BLOG!
Hello all! My name is Drew Blanchette. I'm 21 years old and a class member of the Virginia Woolf Seminar. First and foremost, I must warn potential viewers that I have no knowledge of Virginia Woolf's work. I am hoping that as the class progresses and I have a chance to read her apparently fabulous works (or so I have been told) I will develop some knowledge and appreciation. As my blogs increase perhaps the reader will pick up on my progression! Hopefully whoever looks over my site will enjoy my posts and not be too bored by my analyzing attempts. Thanks ahead of time for viewing my site!