September 17, 2011
The literature piece “Profession for Women” by Virginia Woolf is a detailed speech convincing the audience how women play an important role in the society, but how they are not given the chances to show the world what they have to offer. This speech talks about how gender roles play an important part in our society and how people were treated according to their gender. In this classical speech by Virginia Woolf, a creative novelist, critic, and essayist, describes one of her own professional experiences. Virginia Woolf followed the steps into a literature profession and before this occupation had fewer experiences for women than in any other occupation. Women from all over the world had already made a mark in history for a variety of things, they had already made a clear path for other women to follow, but still many women around the world were looked down upon. The thesis of this speech by Virginia Woolf represents that women can do anything they want and that even though there will be a lot of obstacles that block their path; but at the end of it all they can destroy it and move on. An important lesson for women in the essay is portrayed that women should never be disheartened by men and how successful they are. Another significant lesson would to never be intimidated by the obstacles out there because they will always be there no matter what.
I believe that Virginia Woolf does a great job of having a detailed context and a clear purpose in her speech. She delivers the speech with a meaningful purpose to get women the rights they deserve and also so that women are confident in the work they do. She believes that women shouldn’t be discouraged to the fact that men are more successful because they can reach to the same level. The context of this essay is relevant to the topic because she is giving a personal example of how she got initiative to the work she does. The appeal to pathos, the language that appeals to emotion, is clearly shown because this speech clearly appeals to women who do not have the confidence to rise against men. Women from around the world can easily relate to this speech. The appeal the ethos, establishing credibility and trustworthy, is clearly demonstrated by Woolf because she was also a woman who was looked down upon by men and because she has took a step forward, she has reached equally to men. Woolf is more confident in herself and her work and she believes that every woman should have the same feeling. She can easily relate to other women. Woolf also establishes logic, logos, by having a clear thesis and supporting it by a specific example from her life. “Professions for Women” does a great job of connecting the audience, speaker, and subject together because in a way they are all intertwined to each other. The speaker, Virginia Woolf, makes it clear that the subject of this speech is feminism and how the society treats and respects women. The audience, women from all around the world, can relate to this speech rather deeper than you can imagine.
According to the patterns of development I believe that the speech falls under the category of narration because Woolf starts her speech by explaining to the audience about her life story and how everything falls into play. Woolf clearly mentions “But to tell you my story-it is a simple one…”tells the audience from the beginning of how this speech is going to portray a significant event from Woolf’s life. Description is another pattern of development that builds up this speech. Virginia Woolf uses fine details to describe the phantom and the other minuscule scenes in between. Throughout the speech, I believe that Woolf creates a very compelling atmosphere by the use of examples, which are personally related to her. The patterns of development used here would be exemplification.
I agree with Woolf and her idea that women should never be demoralized by the fact that men might be more successful or by the obstacles that come and go as they may. I believe that if women have a strong sense of who they are and what they want, they can create an image that might be more powerful and successful than men. At the end Woolf states how women for the first time have the voice and can choose the major decisions they want to make without being looked down upon. This speech is rhetorically effective in the ways that the speaker, subject, and audience clearly connect to each other. The appeal to all three: pathos, ethos, and logos make the speech more interesting and divine. By using her personal experiences, she is encouraging other women to realize that it is not too late to choose what is best for them and what is right for them.