© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.

Virginia Woolf Introduction

What Virginia Woolf did... and why you should care

If we asked you to write down what you were thinking right now, you might scribble out a paragraph or two about a stressful homework assignment, or what you had for lunch, or the very exciting text message that just appeared on your phone. Most likely you'd offer your version of this interior monologue in complete sentences, arranged in a somewhat logical sequence. It would, therefore, be totally inaccurate. In reality, your mind is processing all three of those things at once—plus the brightness of your computer screen, the pinch of your shoes on your feet, and a bunch of stuff that happened when you were a kid that you don't even know that you know. In short, if you could really and truly represent in words what your mind looks like right now, it would probably look something like a Virginia Woolf novel.

Virginia Woolf, an English novelist, essayist and critic, believed that the life of the mind was always more fascinating than a person's external behaviors. In her life and in her art, she sought to push beyond existing boundaries in search of a deeper truth that lay beneath the surface. Woolf, along with her husband and their circle of intellectual friends known as the Bloomsbury Group, helped to shape twentieth-century ideas about art, literature, gender, and sex. By demanding her own intellectual freedom, Virginia Woolf opened the door for other artists to do the same.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...