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A Room of One's Own

A Room of One's Own


by Virginia Woolf

Analysis: Three-Act Plot Analysis

For a three-act plot analysis, put on your screenwriter’s hat. Moviemakers know the formula well: at the end of Act One, the main character is drawn in completely to a conflict. During Act Two, she is farthest away from her goals. At the end of Act Three, the story is resolved.

Act I

Mary notices that, unlike the ladies room, the women's college is way worse than the men's college. This leads her to realize that there are serious questions to be asked about Women and Fiction.

Act II

At the library, Mary finds herself face-to-face (or eye-to-text) with the angry sexism of male writers and The Patriarchy. She imagines the fate of Shakespeare's sister in this environment, and it is super depressing. This is really low: she finds herself getting mad at all the men who've been oppressing her and her sistahs.


Taking a deep breath, Mary steps away from a battle-of-the-sexes approach to these problems and instead says that men and women need to welcome the other sex into their minds—uh, so to speak—in order to write well. And women just need to keep writing.

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