Study Guide

A Room of One's Own Tough-o-Meter

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(4) Sea Level

Woolf isn't trying to write a difficult book here. She really wants everyone to understand her basic argument—that the material conditions of an artist's life totally affect the work they produce. Let's take a look at the beginning:

But, you may say, we asked you to speak about women and fiction—what, has that got to do with a room of one's own? I will try to explain. When you asked me to speak about women and fiction I sat down on the banks of a river and began to wonder what the words meant. (1.1)

Hey, throw in a few '80s pop culture references, and that's practically the way Shmoop talks. Talk about student-friendly! That said, Woolf has an encyclopedic knowledge of literary figures, and she's not afraid to use it. So you might find yourself consulting the nice people at Bartleby.

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