In Virginia Woolf’s essay, “A Room of One’s Own” she writes, “a woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.” In order to prove her thesis, Woolf describes a fictional day in which every event serves as a metaphor for the ways women have been deprived of the same advantages that men have had, and how these deprivations have effected their ability to write fiction. For example, Woolf discusses being forbidden to walk on the university’s turf, she is denied access to the library, and she compares the meal at the men’s college with that at the women’s college, all for the purpose of showing that all of these impediments have both literal, as well as symbolic ramifications which bear on women’s ability to write fiction. A Woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction. If a woman has a room and money, she will be interrupted less often and can therefore concentrate on her writing. Woolf emphasizes the interruptions in her experience as a writer to support her argument that a private room is a basic requirement for creative work. It is harder for women to be creative if they are not granted space or leisure for uninterrupted thinking. She often said to herself that a “good fisherman puts back into the water the sort of fish so that it may grow fatter and be one day worth cooking and eating” (2). The fish is an allegory and a symbol of the speaker’s thought concerning women and fiction that never came to fruition. It metaphorically demonstrates that good ideas should grow and that a train of thought should not be interrupted until it is able to become a strong concept. Virginia Woolf was forbidden to walk on the turf of the campus of Oxbridge University. As she walked on the turf, a Beadle ordered her to step off the turf and onto the gravel, saying that “only the Fellows and Scholars are allowed” (2). At the moment, Woolf loses her train of thought from the interruption of an authority figure, who calls her a trespasser. This is a symbol that the interruption bears on women’s ability to write fiction and it would not happen if she were a man. The turf serves a symbolic meaning of men’s academia territory and Woolf is not supposed to enter into men’s territory of learning.
Virginia Woolf’s train of thought got interrupted again as she came to the library. She is denied access to the library. She adores Charles Lamb’s novel, and she wanted to follow his “footsteps” to be like him. However, Virginia Woolf did not have the opportunity that Charles Lamb had to improve his skills by studying Milton’s work in the Oxbridge Library. Not only Charles Lamb but also fellow writer like Thackeray. Virginia Woolf does not have his opportunity either. The perfect novels, such as ESMOND and LYCIDAS, are in Oxbridge Library, but women cannot be in there without being accompanied by a Fellow of the College. Virginia Woolf’s train of thought was again interrupted when she was stopped by a “guardian angel” with a “black gown” (4). She was disappointed that she could not enter the quadrangle in the Library where she could have seen Thackeray’s style of manuscript, or the manuscript that Charles Lamb studied from. In Woolf’s opinion, she believed that she literally cannot be a better writer if she can’t be permitted to be in Libraries at all.
Virginia Woolf compares the meal at the men’s college party with that at the women’s college, and emphasizes the large budgets that male colleges had in comparison to women’s. The lunch began “with soles, sunk in a deep dish, with the whitest cream. After that came the partridges, many and various, with all their sauces and salads, sprouts like rosebuds” (5). Deserts, like Pudding, were served by the serving man after the meal. She felt fantastic after having male’s meal from man’s party where she can logically exchange ideas and talks about