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Anderson, Gwen Trowbridge.
Interrogating Virginia Woolf and the British suffrage movement
h [electronic resource] /
by Gwen Trowbridge Anderson.
[Tampa, Fla] :
b University of South Florida,
Title from PDF of title page.
Document formatted into pages; contains 151 pages.
Dissertation (Ph.D.)--University of South Florida, 2009.
Includes bibliographical references.
Text (Electronic dissertation) in PDF format.
ABSTRACT: Interrogating Virginia Woolf and the British Suffrage Movement Gwen Trowbridge Anderson ABSTRACT Much has been written about Virginia Woolf's involvement with feminism and women's rights, but there has been far less exploration about her ties to suffrage. Many of her friends and family are involved in this exploration: Vanessa Stephen Bell, Ethel Smyth, and the Pankhursts (Emmeline, Sylvia, and Cristobel). Other important figures who are relevant to Woolf's work are Sonia Delaunay, Lewis Carroll, and Edmund Spenser. Important concepts like the New Woman, the suffrage movement, feminism, and women's rights are vital to understanding Woolf's involvement with suffrage. This dissertation examines how Woolf used certain descriptive imagery, specifically, suffrage tricolors, rooms, bridges, pillar-boxes, and water as signposts, which subversively point to suffrage and women's rights. Her literary techniques are foregrounded to reveal how involved Woolf was in the suffrage movement and that she showed this involvement in obvious and subtle ways. I uncover suffrage and feminist clues in three of her early novels Night and Day, Jacob's Room, and The Years and compare her use of women's rights in her nonfiction works, A Room of One's Own and Three Guineas. A close analysis of her early writing clearly proves that Virginia Woolf had a plan from the beginning and a prescient view to her thinking about the suffrage movement.
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Co-advisor: Pat Rogers, Ph.D.
Co-advisor: Phillip Sipiora, Ph.D.
Night and Day
t USF Electronic Theses and Dissertations.
Interrogating Virginia Woolf and the British Suffrage Movement by Gwen Trowbridge Anderson A dissertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy Department of English College of Arts and Sciences University of South Florida Co-Major Professor: Pat Rogers, Ph.D. Co-Major Professor: Phillip Sipiora, Ph.D. Lawrence Broer, Ph.D. Gurleen Grewal, Ph.D. Date of Approval: November 4, 2009 Keywords: New Woman, women's rights, feminist aesthetics, Night and Day, Jacob's Room, The Years Copyright 2009, Gwen Trowbridge Anderson
Dedication I wish to honor the mentoring and memory of Joanne Trautman Banks who first introduced me to Virginia Woolf and Ethel Smyth.
Acknowledgments I wish to thank and acknowledge the following people who have been instrumental in helping me complete this disse rtation: First, my sister Dr. Catherine Ann Taylor who inspired me by her academic exam ple; secondly, Dr. Elizabeth Hirsh whose patience and extraordinary knowledge of Virginia Woolf kept me on track; thirdly, Dr. Pat Rogers whose kindly support as my direct ing professor enabled me to finish this dissertation. Finally, I wish to remember the late Dr. Pris cilla Brewer whose friendship helped me to understand the importance of completing my doctorate degree and becoming Gwen T. Anderson, Ph.D.
i Table of Contents Abstract ii Preface iii Chapter One Interrogating Virginia Woolf and the Suffrage Movement 1 Survey of Literature 6 Method 16 Chapter Two Night and Day and the New Woman 29 Chapter Three Mary Datchet and Jacob Flanders: New Woman and Cambridge Man 43 Chapter Four The Years New Women and Pargiter Men: Rooms, Pillar-Boxes, and Bridges 59 Rooms 59 Pillar-Boxes 62 Bridges 71 Chapter Five Suffrage Tricolor Codes and Strategies in Night and Day, Jacobs Room and The Years 80 Fantasy and Fairy Tales: Influences of Lewis Carroll and Edmund Spenser 101 Chapter Six Conclusion 112 Epilogue 130 Influences of the Bloomsbury Group, 1902-1950 134 Interview: Interrogating Virginia Woolf and Suffragist Ethyl Smyth 139 Works Cited 144 Selected Bibliography 148 Appendices 152 Appendix A: Abbreviations of Work s by Woolf and Suffrage Societies 153 About the Author End Page
ii Interrogating Virginia Woolf and the British Suffrage Movement Gwen Trowbridge Anderson ABSTRACT Much has been written about Virginia Woolfs involvement with feminism and womens rights, but there has been far less e xploration about her ties to suffrage. Many of her friends and family are involved in th is exploration: Vanessa Stephen Bell, Ethel Smyth, and the Pankhursts (Emmeline, Sylvia, and Cristobel). Other important figures who are relevant to Woolfs work are Sonia Delaunay, Lewis Carroll, and Edmund Spenser. Important concepts like the New Woman, the suffrage movement, feminism, and womens rights are vital to understanding Woolfs involvement with suffrage. This dissertation examines how Woolf used certain descriptive imagery, specifically, suffrage tricolors, rooms, bridges, pillar-boxes, a nd water as signposts, which subversively point to suffrage and womens rights. Her literar y techniques are foregrounded to reveal how involved Woolf was in the suffrage movement and that she showed this involvement in obvious and subtle ways. I uncover suffrage a nd feminist clues in three of her early novels Night and Day, Jacobs Room and The Years and compare her use of womens rights in her nonfiction works, A Room of Ones Own and Three Guineas. A close analysis of her early writing clearly proves that Virginia Woolf had a plan from the beginning and a prescient view to her thinking about the suffrage movement.
iiiPreface Interrogating Virginia Woolf and the womens suffrage movement is an opportunity to explore and que stion Woolfs commitment to the suffrage movement. Her use of suffrage imagery and tricolors as we ll as her exploration of the emergent New Woman shows her interest in the entire ag enda of the womens suffrage movement. Woolfs early interest in wo mens suffrage and social reform influenced her motivation to use these topics in her fiction and nonfiction writing. Two of her nonfiction works, A Room of Ones Own and Three Guineas overtly display her advocacy for womens social progress. In her early novels Night and Day, Jacobs Room, and The Years, Woolf integrates her social agenda with her in terest in innovating lit erary form. Woolf reinvigorated the form of the British novel while working to invent suffrage imagery and interrogate its reform agendas. This inte gration of form and politics is much more implicit than explicit and more subversive than an outri ght endorsement of the suffrage movement. Consequently, an exploration of Woolfs connection to suffrage demands a lot of detective work; accessing her diaries, letters, friendships as well as her novels. Woolfs account of her writing life reveals her de termination to plan her novels from the beginning, and the details of her imagery and thematic plans are minute. Woolfs early novels, Night and Day Jacobs Room and The Years, reveal the authors focus on suffrage imagery and themes. Each of these nove ls integrates Woolfs suffrage interest in different ways, but the imagery, British suffrag e tricolors (purple, green, and white), and New Woman themes remain consistent thr eads. This interrogation has produced a reevaluation of Woolfs connection with suffr age and how she references it in her fiction and nonfiction writing.
1 Chapter One Interrogating Virginia Woolf and the Suffrage Movement Much has been written about Virginia Woolf's involvement with feminism and womens rights, but there has been far less exploration about her ties to suffrage. Woolfs lifelong commitment to womens econom ic and social rights made it impossible to ignore suffrage as an important political right for women. Furthermore, Woolfs assertion that she was apolitical is inaccurate. The goal of this dissertation is to prove Woolfs involvement with suffrage and to demo nstrate that she critiqued suffrage tactics in her novels and nonfiction. She challenged th e effectiveness and legitimacy of suffrage goals and of suffrage itself. In Night and Day, Three Guineas, The Years Jacobs Room and A Room of Ones Own Woolf not only deployed her skepticism as a disclaimer to challenge, subvert, and parody the suffrage move ment, but also to invigorate the suffrage goal of emancipation for women. In her e ssay Modern Fiction, Woolf states she wanted to provide more than gig-lamps along the road to her social utopia ( CE 189). Woolfs attitude toward suffrage was one of great caution and hopefulness. For Woolf, the first priority for women wa s economic independence. A secondary consideration was suffrage, which would provi de a civil right for women in the public sphere. Because of the long history of suff rage, which was full of struggle, debate, and disappointment, Woolf was muted in her public response, but she invented ways to integrate her hopes for suffrage into her writing, both fiction and nonfiction. Woolfs participation in social and polit ical history was encouraged by many of her relatives and friends: her father Leslie Stephen, her husband Le onard Woolf, Sidney
2 and Beatrice Webb, and Ethel Smyth. Placing Woolf within the context of her family and friends illuminates her deep connections to social reform and political activism. The Stephen household was a center for discussi on of London politics, so Woolf could not avoid reform ideas. Later on, in her own house hold, visitors such as Sidney and Beatrice Webb brought social reform insights to the conversation. Ethel Smyth became a friend and mentor demonstrating how an accomplishe d career woman could meet the challenges of sexism and political powerlessness. In her letters and diaries it is clear that Woolf considered these reform ideas and wished to adapt her own methods to them ( D 4:28, TG, L ). This dissertation explores how Woolf fits into the history of suffrage and how she uses strategies from the suffrage campaigns of working-class women and the Pankhursts legislative drive. Many of the concerns of feminism and suffrage revolve around the same topics: womens sphere or the soci al construction of womens identities and economic reform, including job opportunity a nd fair pay. Suffrage campaigns, writing critical essays supporting womens legal a nd economic rights, legislative reform, and militant demonstrations were instrumental in pushing forward the suffrage agenda. However, the suffrage agenda competed with Home Rule, World War I security, and Liberal-versus-Labour-party co ncerns. All of these topics influenced the progress or suppression of female suffrage. Because of arguments about priorities and political bargaining, female suffrage was one among ma ny competing issues for legislative reform. David Morgan, in his book Suffragists and Liberals, chronicles the progress of suffrage history. Sandra Stanley Holton in Suffrage Days compiles an anthology of womens stories about thei r personal struggles for su ffrage. Ray Strachey in The Cause
3 tells of her crusade to enact suffrage reform. Woolf knew of this hi story and viewed her writing as an interrogative way to keep suffrag e reform before the public and as a way to invigorate discussion. Some of her friends, such as Ethel Smyt h and the Pankhursts, were convinced that only militant agitation would force the extensi on of suffrage to women and all adult men. Woolf did lend her public support to these ac tivities by attending a rally and asking Janet Case in a letter dated January 1, 1910, if it would be any use if I spent an afternoon or two weekly in addressing envel opes for the Adult Suffragists? ( L1 421). But her essential nature did not lead her toward m ilitant confrontation, but rather toward the interrogative rhetoric of chal lenge, subversion, and parody. He r support lent credence to the suffrage cause and also provided thought ful background to the political debate ( D 1:124). Woolfs own speeches to womens gr oups like the Womens Cooperative Guild (WCG) were in praise of women working together to promote economic progress. Woolf's praise of suffrage was more muted. In Woolfs famous words about how wo men can create a global society from grassroots neighborhood meetings, she suggest s how more than pe rsonal rights can be demanded: Working women at their weekly meetings have to consider relations of one great nation to another... asking not only for baths and wages and electric lights, but also for co-operative industry and adult suffrage and the taxation of land values and divorce law reform. It was thus that they were to task, as the years went by, for peace and disarmament and the sisterhood of nations. ( CE 4:16)
4 The womens suffrage campaign was tapping in to much broader opportunities for women in school and work. What was happening mu ch too slowly for feminists of course was a slow but profound change in the se lf-image held by women (Morgan 162). Suffrage would empower women for more than household economic concerns but also was important for affecting change by other means than by war and competitive economics. The other profound change was the cooperation between social classes. This was part of a social reform more crucial th an getting the vote. David Morgan states in Suffragists and Liberals that the feminist elite organi zed themselves and the mass of women into political actions for suffrage succe ss. Furthermore, Morgan concludes that without the grassroots efforts of the Radicals in labor unions and mills and factories, the Pankhursts would not have had the foundation of support to march into London. Without the London campaign, it is doubtful that the el ite would have continued the fight or enlisted women like Ethel Smyth and Virginia Woolf to their cause. Woolf took the exclusion of women from public activity and made it the focal point for her plan of empowerment. In Gendering European History Barbara Caine and Glenda Sluga trace the concept of citizenship as it has developed from French Revolution times to World War I (1780-1920). Historical ly, certain rules govern who can vote and have a public voice and who cannot. Consiste ntly, a voting citizen was white, male, had land and estate ownership, and had proven his eligibility with marri age and children. All women were to remain in the private sphere and could not be seen or heard in public. There were variations on this definition and sometimes women were accorded a few rights, but often these rights were soon taken away. Various reasons, relating to womens roles as mother, housekeeper, and moral role m odel were used to keep her in the private
5 sphere. Concerns about social instability, war, or revoluti on helped define who would be a voting, functioning public citizen. Caine a nd Sluga put the gendering of human rights in terms of national and globa l citizenship. Mostly, women were excluded from public activity, and this was explained by womens natural modesty and passiveness. Woolf made the exclusion of women from the public arena an organizing focal point, envisioning that women would meet in private discussion and voice their private concerns. Through communication to each other, women could start their own movement to announce their voices to th e nation and the world. The women would become empowered with rights they deserv e and no one could deny them these rights. The public political debate about the wom an question heated up by the end of the nineteenth century. There was intense debate by feminist activists, socialists, writers, artists, scientists, moralists, and educators (C aine & Sluga 130). Especially in England with the advent of militancy and the massi ve suffrage demonstrations after 1907, public discussion and press coverage of the woman question was even more extensive (130) The nature of the woman question also changed. The definition of the New Woman, a term coined by novelist Sara Gra nd, added to the woman question. The New Woman had nontraditional ideas about marriage and sexuality. All the worst fears of militant males were realized in the militant New Woman. Grands characters were New Women who sought to lead live s very different from those of their mothers by engaging in activities which proclaimed their independe nce, their sense of pe rsonal worth, and their entitlement to a public role. Other femini sts had proclaimed these ideas before Grand, but now the time was ripe to bring these ideas to real life and real legislation (Caine & Sluga 130). This New Woman s ought a political empowerment similar to men and either
6 rejected motherhood or felt motherhood could be combined with a more active public role. This dissertation shows how Virginia Woolf used the New Woman of her time in her novels. Furthermore, Woolfs use of th e New Woman in her novels is one of the ways that Woolf encodes her feelings about the suffrage movement and her support of feminism into her writings. In Night and Day, Woolf questions whether suffrage has sufficient power to activate successful reform. Woolf uses Mary Datchet as an example of a suffrage worker who learns about the sacrifices that wome n make for hope of suffrage success. Rose Pargiter in The Years becomes a suffrage worker combating a lifetime of traditional roles for women. Julia Hedge, a feminist in Jacobs Room patiently researches statistics in the British Museum to prove how women deserve the same worker rights as men. Woolf was willing to explore how these characters tried to further the suffrage cause. Throughout her novels Night and Day Jacobs Room and The Years, Woolf expands the boundaries of the suffrage cause by examining the ideas of the New Woman and the new economic and political freedom for women. Her social utopia where both genders and all classes share this freedom is still a dream. However, the pathways that Woolf offers are intriguing and powerful. Survey of Literature Now that Virginia Woolf is secured with in a political, suffrage, and feminist framework, it is necessary to survey the literature about Woolf and her suffrage involvement. Woolfs most important pol itical suffrage ideas are realized in Night and Day Jacobs Room The Years, and the essays A Room of Ones Own and Three Guineas.
7 These will be the main sources for my disse rtation. Others have found political ideas, such as pacifism, antiwar sentimen ts, socialism, and antifascism, in To the Lighthouse Mrs. Dalloway and The Waves. Many critics have noted W oolfs use of feminist and suffragist ideas, but the entire suffrage agenda has not been totally explored. Woolfs specific suffrage ideas, such as militant demonstrations and trespass in public streets, have been discussed by Jane Marcus in her role as editor and essayist in Virginia Woolf: A Feminist Slant and Suffrage and the Pankhursts Marcuss emphasis is on feminist theory and a rereading of the texts, posters, and political strategy of the period. Marc us concludes that a closer reading of these sources in response to pre sent ideological concerns would reflect a more accurate and relevant understanding of the suffrage movement (introd. 17). Night and Day is seen by Marcus as a comic opera about the romantic problems of young lovers and not as a political statement. While I acknowledge the romantic plot, I shall focus on the political aspects of Night and Day. The use of London and its environment is one of Woolfs favorite themes. Much of the agitation for suffrage took place in London and Parliament. Susan Squier has written about the role of wome n in rural and city life and how this exposes the treatment of women, including such issues as the wo rk opportunities combined with social and marriage expectations. The matrix of London gives support to the social ferment that was a part of suffrage. Andrea Zemgulys agrees that literary and historic London is crucial to Night and Day. I shall attempt to revive Night and Day and restore it to the
8 importance it deserves. Woolf said that Night and Day is dead, but her reservations need reexamination. Other critics focus on feminist aesthetic s, language, and relationships. Diane Gillespie offers an essay about The Politi cal Aesthetics: Virginia Woolf and Dorothy Richardson, which discusses the conflicts between pol itics and art. Woolf liked to keep art and politics separate. She abhorred propa ganda art, yet her essays and novels have a strong political current that is encoded in th e suffragists strategies she uses. Whether it is demonstrations and trespass in the streets that would influence le gislative reform and suffrage approval for women or more aesthetic matters, such as tricolors, language, and images, Woolf demonstrated her support for the working-class wome n who fought for the womens vote. Jane Goldman in her influential book The Feminist Aesthetics of Virginia Woolf: Modernism, Post-Impressionism and the Politics of the Visual supplies a valuable analysis of Woolfs tricolor code for suffr age and prismatic theories as a subtext for To the Lighthouse and Mrs. Dalloway. Goldman offers detailed proof that Woolf favored the suffrage tricolors (purple, green, and white sometimes gold) in her prismatic schema. But Goldman does not discuss how Woolf uses other suffrage ideas encoded in these colors. Marcus, Goldman, Gillespie, and Squier offer intriguing analyses of Woolfs political ideas. The book A Literature of Their Own: British Women Novelists from Bront to Lessing offers two Elaine Showalter essays. The first essay, entitled Women Writers and the Suffrage Movement explores the response of British women writers to the suffrage movement. Often the response e xposes guilt, hostility, and class bias. The
9 criticism is class-based as might be expect ed with those who have the most to lose expressing the most negative criticism. The other Showalter essay concerns The Female Aesthetic, a term that stood for the opportuni ty for women novelists to create a new female literature. The aesthetic applied feminist ideology to language as well as to literature, words, and sentences as well as to perception and values (240-62). Feminist militancy made some of these women novelists uneasy since it resembled masculine militancy. Therefore, they foregrounded a diffe rent set of values. The moral issues of Victorian feminism were transmut ed into a new female aesthetic. The literary and historical background of suffrage is cast in a new light when gender politics is used as the organizing them e. Barbara Caine and Glenda Sluga offer a concise vision of how the changing cultural meanings of gender are central to understanding the formation of states and nations, citizenship and political participation, work and economic activity... (introd. 1-5). Their book Gendering European History shows how cultural and po litical strategies oppress women. Nancy Cott in The Grounding of Modern Feminism explains how the word feminism has changed meaning over the decades. The book also relates how American feminist history and also English feminism have affected American st rategies in relation to suffrage. Sandra Stanley Holton provides fascin ating background abou t lesser-known British suffrage leaders, such as Elizabeth Wolsterhome, Hannah Mitchell, Alice Clark, and others. Suffrage Days: Stories from the Womens Suffrage Movement traces the facts versus memories of their experiences and shows the diversity of su ffragist backgrounds. Angela Ingram and Daphne Patai have resear ched the forgotten radicals in English suffrage history. This book rediscovers the stories and writings of important feminist
10 and suffragist writers in England between 1890 and 1939. It is a colle ction of essays by various authors who explain the lives and writings of certain radical writers/activists and why they are important today. Jill Liddington and Jill Norris have compiled information about working womens involvement in English suffrage. Their book, One Hand Tied Behind Us: The Rise of the Womens Suffrage Movement, chronicles the rise of the womens suffrage movement in England and discovers how the working class contributed to the movement before the Pa nkhursts and others took over. The womens stories are fascinating and full of little-known information. The Pankhurst women, Sylvia, Cristabel, and their mother Emmeline, brought suffrage rights to the attention of influentia l Londoners, who helped, eventually, to pass a suffrage reform bill. In their book Sylvia Pankhurst, Ian Bullock and Richard Pankhurst present detailed material from the pers onal, family view of Richard Pankhurst, Emmelines son. This volume helps to explain the famous Pankhurst women. Womens rights and feminism are connect ed to Woolf in several ways. As mentioned before, Woolf was very involved with the economic and poli tical battles of her day, and no topic was more pertinent than suffrage. Todd and Squier speak of feminist literary history and the New Woman, who is a different kind of woman from the Victorian and Edwardian women of the past Squier's essay A Track of Our Own describes how Woolf felt about honors for women; they were superstitions and useless. Woolfs dream was of a vigorous young woma n who could combat the mud-coloured moonshine of politics and adva nce feminist civilization ( Feminist Slant 134). Naomi Black defines different types of feminism. To her there is social feminism and there is equity feminism. Blacks feminism is social feminism, which includes the idea of
11 autonomy for women. Equity feminism, on the other hand, merely extends existing belief systems to women previously excluded (introd. 1). Black names certain groups like WCG (Womens Co-operative Guild), UFCS ( Union fminine civique et sociale ), and the national League of Women Voters (LWV) as examples of many groups who worked for the social and educational improve ment of women. Suffrage, of course, is part of this movement. Womens organizations, such as WCG, UFCS and LWV, opened new options for women. Feminist Naomi Black describes the New Woman of the 1920s in terms of womens liberation from expect ed cultural roles. Rishona Zimring in her essay Gissing, Woolf, and the Drama of Home sees a conn ection between George Gissings heroines and Virginia Woolfs character Mary Datchet. Both types of women are rebelling against the expected roles of wife and mother. They want more, and they see how the opportunities are opening up. Gissings char acters are struggling against the odds, but Mary Datchet is venturing into new territory and is definitely not a victim. Mary is developing out of the earlier Gissing heroin es and is now a strong example of the New Woman who is emerging from th e traditional womans sphere. Language, communication, and narrative ar e three major areas that attract scholars of Night and Day. H. Porter Abbott in his essa y, Old Virginia and the Night Writer: The Origins of Woolfs Narrative M eander, relates Woolf s use of a diary, her narrative structure and modernism. Of course since Woolf was tryi ng to inscribe a new narrative technique, this topic would be essential for any Woolf analysis. But since Woolf has disclaimed new narrati ve ideas in her construction of Night and Day, it is revealing to read critics who find new approaches anyway. Virginia Blains Narrative
12 Choice and the Female Perspective in Vi rginia Woolfs Early Novels, traces The Voyage Out Night and Day, and Jacobs Room in terms of a consistent reference to narration, irony, and treatment of women. Woolfs female perspective has evolved from Rachels earlier desperation and the global perspective in Jacobs Room. Mary Datchet is an advocate for the suffrage move ment; her characterization in Night and Day benefits from Woolfs exploration of a female perspective in The Voyage Out. Several critics have written about communication problems in Night and Day. Michael Whitworth takes a st rictly technological approach to communication in his essay, Woolfs Web: Telecommunications and Community. W ith the benefit of telegraphs and telephones th e possibilities for communicatio n are greatly expanded. The family community becomes global. This ch anges the horizon for Woolfs characters, especially a New Woman like Mary Datchet. Elizabeth Cooley sear ches for answers to the communication problems between Ka therine Hilbery, Mary Datchet, William Rodney, and Ralph Denham. Cooleys essa y discusses the Woolfian communication ideal, an ideal state that transcends language and culture. This enchanted region, is accomplished, according to Cooley, by direct empathy between Hilbery and Denham, whereas, Hilbery and William, cannot brid ge the gap. William and Cassandra Otway find common ground with music, but Mary Da tchet cannot compromise with Denham. Cooley also highlights the relationships between male-male, female-female, and female-male in Woolfs novels The Voyage Out and Night and Day. In her essay entitled, The Medicine She Trusted To : Women, Friendship and Communication in The Voyage Out and Night and Day , Cooley explores a very important topic in Night and Day friendships. She discusses the nature of friendship between the sexes and
13 among the same sex. There are many conversations between the characters in Night and Day that show an undercurrent of hostility, desperation, and soul -searching. These descriptions are especially highlighted against the background of genteel society and the changing mores of 1920s England. These are comments similar to S howalters research about British women writers during the suffr age movement 1850 to after World War I. Shirley Nelson Gamer explores Women Together in Virginia Woolfs Night and Day . This essay treats friendship and attr action between women and their relationships to male-female couples. While Night and Day is considered a romantic, comic novel, there are many encoded investigations into female-female relationships. Because women have mothered women, they also retain a primary emotional bond, both metaphorical and biological, with their mothe rs. Woolfs expression of love between Mary and Katherine is tentative and often expressed in silence as much as words. Transcending language and culture is the co re of the enchanted region as asserted by Cooley. Woolf will use this technique in the novels to come. Psychology is the next major area that crit ics frequently visit when explicating the works of Virginia Woolf. T.E. Apter in her book, An Uncertain Balance: Night and Day discusses how Night and Day tries to balance the soul [which] was active and in broad daylight with the contemplative soul which is dark as night. Ca n the light and dark sides of the soul be balanced ? This is certainly part of what Woolf is discovering in Night and Day. However, more complex psychology is also a backdrop. George M. Johnson focuses on the second wave of psychol ogy in his fascinating essay, The Spirit of the Age: Virginia Woolfs Response to Second Wave Psychology. The emphasis is on the second wave of psychology which assert s that the mind is in constant movement,
14 not static, and that Woolf used these second wave ideas in her treatment of repression, sublimation, dreams, intimacy, conscious states, moments of being, and sexuality in The Voyage Out and Night and Day. Although Woolf uses these ideas in many of her novels, we should remember The Voyage Out and Night and Day are her two earliest novels. Her later novels continue to expa nd her use of these themes in her writing. This is one indication why her two early novels are so important. Mark Hussey in his article Refractions of Desire: The Early Fiction of Virginia and Leonard Woolf shows the treatment of desire and sex roles in The Voyage Out, Night and Day, and in Leonard Woolfs The Village in the Jungle and The Wise Virgins. Hussey asserts that the conventions of engagement and marriage that are in Night and Day also reflect the behaviors of Leonard and Virginia during thei r courtship. In addi tion, Virginia Woolfs female-female longings are compared to t hose of her characters Katherine Hilbery and Mary Datchet. Junko Setogawa provides a Japanese pers pective for a fantasy approach to marriage and engagement. Setogawa compares the use of fantasy in Woolfs short story Lapin and Lapinova to the use of fantasy in Night and Day. Setogawa concludes that Ernest and Rosaline, and Katherine and Ralph both use fantasy to keep their marriage or engagement valid. Ernest twitches his nose like a rabbit when he is thinking, so they decide to use rabbits as th eir fantasy animals. They have this in common and communicate their desires in this way. However, on the day Ernest refuses to participate, Rosalind loses her safety valve a nd the relationship falls apart. Katherine and Ralph are able to comm unicate in an enchanted region where words are not necessary (501-508). Katherin e can give up her solitude because she
15 realizes that Ralph can shar e her ideas and hopes. Her solitude does not have to be permanent. This is an engagement fantas y that gives hope to Katherine and Ralph. Rosaline and Ernest are newly-married, so th e rabbit fantasy lasts only a few years. Setogawas contribution shows how themes in Woolfs writing are revisited in later writings and that Woolf is constantly inte rrogating marriage and e ngagement, especially in terms of independence for women. Furthermore, there are conversational le tters to and from Lytton Strachey and others about form, dialogue and sexlessness in Night and Day. Woolf sent copies of Night and Day to Vanessa and Clive Bell, Lytton St rachey, Morgan Forster, and Violet Dickinson. Clive Bell declared Night and Day No doubt a work of the highest genius ( D 307). Vanessa also gave unstilted praise; on top of that Lyttons enthusiastic praise; a grand triumph; a classic, & so on; Viol ets sentence of eulogy followed; & then, yesterday morning, this line from Morg an I like it less th an the V.O. ( D 310). Forster further explains None of the char acters in N. & D. is lovable ( D 310). Woolf valued all their opinions on aesthetic and literary matters, but Lytton Stracheys and Morgan Forsters mattered the most to her. Woolfs feeling that Night and Day was dead, as she declared in her diary, reflects her uncertainty about the worth of her novel. Conflicting opinions about Night and Day among her friends and contemporary critics, together with its effective abandonment by Woolf scholars, provide two reasons for my focus on Night and Day in this dissertation.
16 Method Placing Virginia Woolf within a feminist literary history, specifically, the womens suffrage movement, I will interrogate the tactics and ideology of suffrage as encoded in three novels by Woolf, Night and Day Jacobs Room and The Years through direct analysis of language, imagery, and al so by means of imagined interviews. Her nonfiction Three Guineas and A Room of Ones Own will also provide Woolfs views on social and economic reform. I will discuss the novels in order of publication. Some shorter fiction may also supplement my disc ussion. Woolf deploys her suffrage game as a disclaimer, a trick to challenge, parody, and subvert suffrage. Although Virginia Woolf wrote about suffrage tactics in her fiction and nonfictional works, she frequent ly challenges the tactics of the suffrage movement by incorporating subversion and parody into her writing style. She also challenged the effectiveness and legitimacy of suffrage campaigns. In Jacobs Room and Three Guineas, Woolf argues for economic opportunities, not suffrage and political reform. In her own grassroots campaign, Woolf advocat es that women combine their economic power to effect economic reform. She questi ons whether suffrage has sufficient power to help this reform. Woolf uses parody and subversion to chal lenge suffrage tactics, but she also supports an idealized vision of womens rights by encodi ng several examples in her writings. She parodies street demonstrati ons by flaunting patriarchal rules through her own hesitant steps, walking the streets of London alone at night. She subverts the authority of Parliament, female street power and suffrage demonstrations. She trespasses on both traditional education and economic fronts. She urges legal reform of these fronts.
17 Woolf denounces the forces that want to kill suffrage just as she denounces the tyranny of the angel in the house in the domestic arena. Woolfs a dvocacy of womens rights is encoded in her contrast images of night and day, sun and moon, according to Jane Goldman. Might these image clusters be s ubversion and parody, not advocacy? Woolfs game seeks to eclipse these image clusters and question them. Woolf interrogates the authority that denies women their rightful place in English society. The most important suffrage tactics incl ude legislative reform, demonstrations, language, images, jail time, and grass-roots and working-class support. Legislative reform includes the Reform Bills, Suffrage Acts to extend male and adult suffrage as well as female. Woolfs father, Leslie Stephe n, worked for reform of educational and economic problems, but was not enthusiastic about female suffrage. Woolfs ideas were influenced by discu ssions with friends and family, who had strong opinions about the militant and radical suffragist demonstrations of her time. Woolf supported subtler tactics than street demonstrations an d arrests; however, she did plan to trespass on public spaces and cross over barriers to womens abilities to congregate and affect public policy. She attended a rally for WCG in March 1918, but her most political ideas were written in Three Guineas. Jail time and starvation as a resistance tactic would never work for Woolf. Physically and emotionally she could not have survived. Language was the first line of defense for Woolf. Woolf advocated creating female language and sentences. She wanted to value female perspective and grammar. She wanted a fluid language that would accept the fluidity of female experience and transient nature of everyday life. She also wanted to honor the special moments of
18 being or epiphanies when women realize an important truth. She endorsed a womancentered language, using inductive reasoni ng to create and break taboo images of womens bodies and minds. Her language innova tions influenced a feminist aesthetic known today as criture feminine, which was picked up by the French feminists, Toril Moi and Luce Irigaray. Her feminine imagery, which included water, flowers, connective bridges, and inner spaces, contrasts with the male-domin ated worlds of London and Cambridge. The tricolors of the suffrage movement are consistently employed in her novels. Many have noted Woolfs use of feminist and suffragist ideas and images, but matching suffrage strategies with Woolfs lite rary technique has not been done in an indepth and unified way. Woolfs literary technique responded to and incorporated many suffragist strategies. In her attempts to re design the novel, Woolf ha d other priorities as well. It might be helpful to interrogate Woolf on her ideas about womens suffrage. Here is an example of one imagined inte rview and how it might shed light on Woolfs obliqueness: INTERVIEWER: As a writer you have stated th at you are not politic al, that you are only interested in economic and social refo rm. How can you separate the arenas? WOOLF: I have great suspicion about poli tics and politicians. In my experience, politicians are primarily interested in acqui ring power and are not always interested in what is best for their constituents or for the nation. It seems a waste of time to me to attend conferences and listen to political speeches.
19 INTERVIEWER: And yet your e ssays and novels have embedded codes, symbols, and images that advocate suffrage ideals. WOOLF: I believe in the process of writing and imagination. I believe that thinking through ideas through characters and their thoughts creates stimu lation in the readers and the writers brain. This s timulation can change attitude s and provoke actions. Reform and legislation can happen with this motivation. INTERVIEWER: You accuse politicians of wanting power, yet you wish power over readers minds and attitudes. You want to change perceptions. You have political goals. WOOLF: It is true I wish to achieve social reform, a more equitable society, but this cannot be forced on people through laws. So me laws, like primogen iture are unfair and discriminatory, and I do advocate revising or revoking them. However, my talents are clearly in writing not dem onstrating in the streets or Parliament, so I choose to offer ideas without the rhetoric and violence. More permanent change can occur when people are thinking than when they are forced to agree. INTERVIEWER: What about the suffrage agenda? You have written in your diary that you doubt women will know what to do with the vote. You say that women are not prepared to be independent thinkers and that they will vote as their husbands or fathers think they should. Isn't this disingenuous? Are you implying that women cannot be independent thinkers? Yet, you are basi ng your essays and novels on the idea that women can be informed, that they can impr ove themselves financially and create an independent space for themselves. How do you integrate these views? WOOLF: My personal writing reflects my own fears and suspicions and my triumphs. I still advocate that women learn to be independent and cultivat e their creative resources.
20 My fear is that women do not have enough support to make independence and creativity a high priority. I am offering the practical and theoretical support that is necessary. INTERVIEWER: You are advocati ng a fundamental change in womens role in society. Do you think this is subversive and that othe r national priorities will overshadow this new role? WOOLF: There has been a long tradition of soci al justice in this country and even more so in the nineteenth and twen tieth centuries. If war and ot her threats are stronger than suffrage, this makes the spirit stronger than ever. The suffrage cause unites women more than any other cause, so that suffrage rights will be granted eventually. This is the type of interrogation, with support from Woolf sc holars that I will make about Woolfs suffrage ideas in this dissertation. Firstly, I will focus on Night and Day, specifically the character Mary Datchet. She is an example of the New Woman who is trying to escape the traditional mother/housewife role and live a career and exciting life in London. I will start inves tigating Mary Datchet by using Woolfs own words that describe Mary physically and emotionally. Mary has her own literary salon in her apartment where she chooses to give perm ission for her friends to come and discuss literature and the arts. She has more than a room of her own and she controls who comes into her apartment. In Night and Day Woolf gives a very clea r physical description of Mary Datchet: She was some twenty-five years of age, but looked older because she earned, or intended to earn, her own living, and had already lost the look of the irresponsible spectator, and take n on that of the private in the army of workers. Her gestures seemed to have a
21 certain purpose, the muscles round th e eyes and lips were set rather firmly, as though the sense had undergone some discipline, and were held ready for a call on them. (48) The reader, thus, learns about Marys background and her physical looks The rest of the novel carries through with this analysis as Ma ry works at the suffrage office (SGS), falls for Ralph, visits her family, and continues her sacrifices for suffrage. The reader learns that since her mothers death, Mary has decide d to get a college education, leave her rural family life, and come to dynamic London. This motivation to succeed is part of devotion to a suffrage career. Mary is one of the New Women who are immersed in public life, socially and politically active, and not destin ed for marriage. Mary is intelligent and perceptive in rejecting rural va lues and accepting urban cleverness. Woolf implies this is essential for success. This looking for new answers is the methodol ogy that I will use to understand Mary and suffrage. The other Woolf sources that will be analyzed in this dissertation are Jacobs Room The Years, and Three Guineas. Each of these sources will be explored for political clues and references to suffrage idea s. Woolf continues or mutates some of her characters in these sources, so tracing their tr ansformations will be a part of my analysis. Jacobs Room uses many of Woolfs more s ubtle narrative strategies. Woolf explores the validity of realit y and a permanent truth. Only males have access to this reality and truth. The Cambridge myth that there, indeed, can be permanent, accessible reality and truth is contained in a mans world. Women are outsi ders. The invisible female narrator has a limited access to college life and this vision is temporary at best. Cori Sutherland in her essay Gender and Ge nre Inter(sex)tions exposes how transparent
22 women are to its society and th at they are valued only for th eir transparency and contrast to men. Women become vague and hesi tant and therefore powerless. In Jacobs Room by employing the very same gendered metaphors and characteristics for male and female characters that society relies upon, the na rrator exposes the cost of this model (Sutherland 68). Clara, Fl orinda, and Fanny are transpar ent and described through a haze. Their appeal is temporary. Even Jacobs mother is seen as powerless to help her son stay away from war. If one possesses th e right class and gender, one can buy into the Cambridge false reality. Similarly, the female characters try to buy false temporary beauty. Both are trying to perpetuate somet hing that is necessarily temporary (68). Really, both females and males are denied acces s to permanent political power. Even the males cannot control the hunger for war, while the women are cast aside as powerless. How can transparent women acquire a powerful tool like suffrage? Jacobs Room has no place for single substantial women (69). Michael R. Olin-Hitt discusses subversive characterization in Jacobs Room in his essay Power, Discipline and Individual ity: Subversive Characterization in Jacobs Room. Olin-Hitt uses the categories of narrative strategies, individuals, social power, and freedom from tyranny to explore the ch aracters fates. Objectification and subjection, to use Foucaults terms, are used in nineteenth-century novels to oppress the characters. Woolf was working through thes e conventions to expose the fact that literature not only reflects so cial power structures, but en forces what supports them (Olin-Hitt 129). Woolf wants to free the reader from these constraints, but her cause is also to free women from power lessness. Woolf parodies th e conventional male character who seems the center of a c ontrolled universe but who is instead a focal point for
23 diversity and disparity (131). Florinda, Fanny, Clara, and Betty Flanders offer different glimpses of Jacob. This dest abilizes the idea of a unified character while maintaining their subservience to the male view. Jacobs Room and Three Guineas have the war in common. In her personal essay, Stephanie Zappa traces the connection between Three Guineas and Jacobs Room. She calls her essay Virginia Woolf and Me: Personal Criticism. Zappa concentrates on the idea of the tacit acceptance of war that leads to unconscious support of militarism. Woolfs pacifism questioned these contributi ons to a war-thinking culture (274-75). Woolfs critique of war illustrates the cause and effect cycle of war and the psychosocial views which perpetuate it (275). War is a continuing theme for Woolf. It was the center of her world and of her writing (275). Woolf denounced the exaggerated emotions caused by war and used parody to highlight the damage. In Jacobs Room the effects are subtler than in Three Guineas. The lead character, Jacob Flanders, is prepared by his education at Cambridge to accept his patriotic duty when the war comes. Even though Woolf holds Jacob at arms length and tries for an impartial, formal opinion of him, she finds it impossible to be completely objective. Jacob is obsessed with tradition and the classics and, therefore, epitomizes patriarchal society. Through Jacob, Woolf traces the influences of war by and upon gender (277). Woolf questions the role of women, particularly mothers, like Betty Flanders, in the acceptance of a war-thinking culture. Whatever the war, Things repeat themselves it seems. Pictures and voices are the same toda y as they were 2,000 years ago ( TG 141). Young men are raised by their moth ers to accept their patriotic duty
24 and the war reasoning behind it. This att itude brings honor to the young men, but it brings nightmares to their mothers. In Three Guineas Woolf is less subtle. Her concern is with the knee-jerk responses that war evokes. In her diary of July 1940, she writes, I dont like any of the feelings war breeds: patriotism, communal &c, all sentimental & emotional parodies of our real feelings (5:302). These sentimental and emotional parodies are at the heart of militarism. Zappa investigates other recent wars and how women are implicated in the patriotism that accepts war. This is unnerving for women and guilt producing. Three Guineas argues that the vicious cycle of war im plicates not only the warmongers but also those, especially mothers and teachers of culture, who may be enmeshed in the patriotism that accepts war. Three Guineas evoked polarized opinions about war, feminism, and womens power. Because Three Guineas was more aggressive than A Room of Ones Own, acceptance of Woolfs argument was very problematic. It was deemed strident and ill tempered. Of course, Woolf was r eaching for argument, not agreement. Three Guineas exposed patriarchal domination as the main force behind the acceptance, even encouragement, of war. Patriarchal privileg e was at stake. E. M. Forster dismissed Woolfs ideas as belonging to an old-fashioned nostalgia for her suffragette youth of the 1920s. He declared that Woolfs lifel ong commitment to feminism was responsible for this awful book (Neverow 13). Woolf s commitment to economic and political autonomy for women was the basis for her writing A Room of Ones Own and Three Guineas.
25 Vara Neverow, in her essay comparing Jo sephine Butlers ideas about suffrage to Woolfs ideas in Three Guineas, contends that much of Woolfs research for Three Guineas used Butlers ideas. Specifically, Neverow quotes the Fawcett and Turner biography of Josephine Butler. In Three Guineas, Woolf refers to a passage about womens suffrage: For some reason, never satisfactorily explained, the right to vote, in itself by no means negligible, was mysteriously connected with [the right to earn ones living, a] right of such immense value to the daughter of educated men th at almost every word in the dictionary has been changed by it, including the word influence (15). Without this right to earn a living, according to Wool f, women had no autonomy and were basically prostitutes. The word pro fession becomes a euphemism for prostitution. Woolfs references and footnot es to the Butler biography prove she was concerned about suffrage as well as economic opportunity (Neverow 16). Michael Tratner in his essay The Valu e of Difference: Economics, Genders and War in Three Guineas traces Woolfs ideas about the causes of war, namely economics and the powerlessness of women to stop war. Woolf would not agree to join an antiwar society because men founded it. She insisted that women must secure their own power and values, their difference so that any fe minist protest retained the values women desire, while gaining power and status. Women need to gain autonomy and some economic success, but not too much. Greed shou ld not be a deciding factor. Women will
26 gain some political power with suffrage, but it is not enough for Woolf, who advocates an antiwar position defined under her own terms. Merry Pawlowski defines how Woolf viewed the misogynist ideology of her male friends as a major barrier to womens power, political and economic. Pawlowskis essay, All the gents against me: Virginia Woolf, Three Guineas and the Sons of Educated Men, shows how Woolf developed her campa ign against womens inferiority (assumed by males) as the major reason women were denied power. The very men that she knew the best were conspirators in denying women their suffrage and economic rights. Women did not have intellectual liber ty and educational freedom, both of which are denied to them by men. That is why women were antiwar and against the status quo. The last major novel I will discuss is The Years. Here I rely on two major sources: Diane L. Swanson s article, Antigone Complex: Psychology and Politics in The Years and Three Guineas and also James Naremores br oader discussion of Nature and History in The Years. I will start with Swansons explor ation of Sara as the alter ego of Antigone. First of all, Swanson reads Three Guineas as offering a vision of new possibilities and not contained within patriarchal discourse (35). Swansons critique of Oedipal theory posits the idea that matr iarchal myths and rituals are highlighted in The Years. Following on the patriarchal paths in Three Guineas Woolf creates a new language for thinking about Antigone As Swanson says, Antigone functions for Woolf as a figure for both the damage done to da ughters in the patriarchal family and the independent vision the resistant daughter is nevertheless capa ble of (36). To convey the Antigone connection, Sara reads a copy of Edwards translation of Antigone. Sara empathizes with the idea of being buried by the patriarchal family. Sara resists being
27 controlled by her father. She wants to cr eate a new life, a new vision, a new world. Eleanor speaks of reading Antigone also, and in the final scen e, brothers and sisters are looking outward toward the new dawn of a new day (39). It is not hard to agree that Woolf is replacing the focus of Oe dipus with a focus on Antigone. Woolfs new language for thinking about Antigone draws upon an old myth to explain her feminist interpretation of the my th. James Naremore in his article Nature and History in The Years mentions the Sara/Antigone connection, and when he describes the character Sara as totally isolat ed and harmlessly insane, he offers a more encyclopedic analysis of the use of nature and history. He starts with the famous idea that Woolf declared, which wa s that in or about 1910, human character changed (241). One reason to pick this date, he says, is th at was the year Woolf herself made a commitment to the adult suffrage movement, doing political chores on behalf of womens rights (241). Woolfs program for reform wa s aesthetic as well as political. After all, it was Woolf who argued that women would need the power of the vote, a good income, and rooms of their own if they expected to write as well as men (243). Furthermore, it was Woolf who prophesied that a political force would break down the old class and sex distinctions (243). This po litical force was suffrage, bot h adult suffrage and womens suffrage. With Three Guineas as a companion to The Years it is possible to understand both writings more completely. Historical ch ange and Woolfs view of politics are more clearly delineated than in any other of her writings ( 244). Woolfs tracing of womens rights and the war against fascism is tenuous at best, according to Quentin Bell. Woolfs theory is that fascistic thinking mirrors the patriarchal domination of the family, which The Years features as a main theme. Woolf also senses that there is an eternal natural
28 process that gives meaning to the poverty, violence, and economic disparities of life. Woolf addresses all of these pr oblems in her program for societ al reform. Rose Pargiter in The Years becomes a spunky suffragette who cannot be quelled by the patriarchal establishment or her patriarchal family. She represents the future that Woolf hopes will bring new beginnings and a new equality for women. In conclusion, Woolf through her writing of Night and Day, A Room of Ones Own Jacobs Room Three Guineas, and The Years, explores the ideas of the New Woman, who will enjoy new economic and political power.
29 Chapter Two Night and Day and the New Woman Night and Day provides a point of suffrage inte rrogation for the author Woolf and her literary critics. Mary Da tchet is the keystone character for suffrage in this novel. She is an example of the New Woman who is trying to escape the traditional motherhousewife-sister roles and live a career a nd exciting life in cosmopolitan London. I will start investigating Mary Datchet by using Woolfs own words that describe Mary physically and emotionally. At the beginni ng of chapter IV, Woolf introduces Mary, gives a very clear physical de scription of her, and also hints at Marys New Woman instincts that have allowed her to choose an urban life in her own apartment and to create a literary salon: She was some twenty-five years of age, but looked older because she earned, or intended to earn her own living, and had already lost the look of the irresponsible spect ator, and taken on that of the private in the army of workers. Her gestures seemed to have a certain purpose, the muscles round her eyes and lips were set rather firmly, as though the senses had undergone some discipline, and were ready for a call on them. She had contracted two faint lines, between her eyebrows, not from anxiety but from thought, and it was quite evident that all the feminine instincts of pleasing, soothing, and charming were crossed by others in no way peculiar to her sex. For the rest she was brown-eyed, a little clumsy in
30 movement, and suggested country birth and a descent from respectable hard-working ancesto rs, who had been men of faith and integrity rather than doubters and fanatics. (48) This paragraph gives the background necessary to understand Marys drive to succeed. This motivation to succeed is part of her devotion to a suffrage career. Mary has immersed herself in public life, become socially and politically active, and is not destined for marriage. Mary is intelligent and percep tive in rejecting rural values and accepting urban cleverness. Woolf implies this is vital for the successful New Woman. As we shall learn when A Room of Ones Own and Three Guineas are discussed, this rejection of traditional values is part of Woolfs plan for women learning the value of their own creative space and forming a Society of Outsiders who can bring pacifism and socialism to national and international discussion ( TG 115). For now, the important focus for Mary is that women have the advant age of being outsiders who are not intrinsic to establishment problems. Mary is at th e very center of urban opportunity in London: She thought of her clerical father in his country parsonage, and of her mothers death, and of her own determination to obtain an education, and of her college life, which had merged not so very long ago, in the wonderful maze of London, which still seemed to her, in spite of her constitutio nal level-headedness, like a vast electric light, casting a radian ce upon the myriads of men and women who crowded around it. (48) In this quotation, Woolf uses her code of ru ral versus urban, the fantasy of light, moths and urban communication blending into a wonderland of city life. As can be seen from
31 Woolfs description and my an alysis so far, Woolf is combining the rural and urban influences of suffrage in her picture of Mary and her apartment. (She lives in a modern apartment, not an ancestral manse or rural cottage.) Mary combines the virtues of Alice Cl ark, Hannah Mitchell, and the formidable Pankhurst women. Eventually with Mary as a guide, the urban opportunities eclipse the rural for suffrage success. Women such as Beatrice Webb and Ethel Smyth are real-life friends of Woolfs who showed the way toward urban feminine independence. Meanwhile, the paragraph descri ption of Mary Datchet also reveals a picture of Woolfs suffrage code. The rural life, the feminist approach to the opposite sex (Mary does not try to be pleasing, soothing, and charming all the time), and Marys devout ancestors are honored. Especially, the idea that Marys an cestors are men of faith and integrity, not political fanatics, parodies the idea that su ch fanatics cause militant demonstrations and destruction of which Woolf did not approve. Finally, Mary is described as the private in the army of workers, a dis tinctly militaristic phrase th at reveals Woolfs antiwar sympathies. This phrase undermines the suffr age ideal of a suffrag ist leading the troops into battle. Mary soon beco mes a socialist worker, which mirrors Woolfs pacifism and socialism tendencies. Mary is the light ar ound which a new social utopia will evolve. Woolf not only gives a clear description of Mary Datc het, but also carefully outlines Marys hostess preparatio ns for the literary salon that evening. Mary makes very specific arrangements of her furniture and refreshments for her guests: At the end of a fairly hard days work it was certainly something of an effort to clear ones room, to pull the mattress off ones bed, and lay it on the floor, to fill a pitcher with cold coffee, and to
32 sweep a long table clear for plat es and cups and saucers, with pyramids of little pink biscuits between them; but when these alterations were effected, Mary felt a lightness of spirit come to her, as if she had put off the st out stuff of her working hours and slipped over her entire being some vesture of thin, bright silk. She knelt before the fire and looked out into the room. The light fell softly, but with clear radiance, th rough shades of yellow and blue paper, and the room, which wa s set with one or two sofas resembling grassy mounds in thei r lack of shape, looked unusually large and quiet. (48) Mary is setting the stage for the even ings performances. Ralph Denham says when entering Marys apartment, Its like a room on a stage (49). He sees how Mary has stage-managed the entire atmosphere of her apartment to accommodate her guests. Woolfs language also reflects a theatrical heritage with phr ases like casting a radiance with electric light through shades or filters of yellow and blue paper (48). Mary creates her own theater, her own alternative universe in her own apartment. She is part of the wonderful maze of fantasy that London has to offer. Suffrage is only a part of the scenery that Mary stagehands as she engages in homely tasks like darning socks and providing refreshments while her guests can discuss literature. This hostess activity echoes the same activ ity that Katherine Hilbery engages in while helping her mother with a tea party in th e first chapter. Woolf implies that Mary is doing poetic battle in her own living room, when she writes that Mary was led to think of the heights of a Sussex down, and th e swelling green circle of some camp of
33 ancient warriors (48). The gr assy mounds in Marys case are her two sofas. In a later nonfiction work, A Room of Ones Own Woolf declares, a woma ns presence in a room alters the atmosphere in a room, partly because she understands indoor spaces so well: One goes into the room but the resources of the English language would be much put to the stretch, and whole flights of words would need towing their way illegitimately into existence before a woman could say what ha ppens when she goes into a room. ... One has only to go into any room in any street for th e whole of that extremely complex force of femininity to fly in ones face. How should it be otherwise? For women have sat indoors all these millions of years, so that by this time the very walls are permeated by their creative force. (87) Within the first two pages of Night and Day s chapter IV, Woolf has condensed her entire philosophy of feminist liberation using Mary Datchet as a focus for suffrage and for the advantages of ones own room. Furthermore, every guest who enters Marys apartment feels her creative force and the pe rsonal universe that Ma ry has arranged. Not only is Mary the private in the army of workers, she is also a warrior camped out on the grassy mounds of her sofas. She is outdoor s in a romanticized Sussex down, and she is a maiden warrior inside her own apartment. Mary is also doing homely tasks while waiting for intellectual literary discussion. She has the best of both worlds. Marys apartment atmosphere extends not only to her guests but also outside of her apartment when the guests in teract with each ot her in other houses. Ralph, Katharine, and William think of Mary when they have a problem or need to talk. She is the connecting link between these people because of her honesty, her dedication, and her individuality all of which she pours into her career of suffrage and socialism. The
34 microcosm of Marys universe provides a gig-lamp for the rest of the novel Night and Day. Katharine Hilbery is another example of the New Woman. Katharine judges Mary by respecting her work for suffrage and her involvement in social change. Katharine values this social change more for her own life than in terms of helping women at large. After both Ralph and Katharine have visited Mary at her SGS office, they have a conversation about Mary. Katharine responds to Mary and her office mates as if they were a dream: Shut up there, she compared Mrs. Seal, and Mary Datchet, and Mr. Clacton to enchanted people in a bewitched tower, with spiders webs looping across the corners of the room, and a lot of tools of the necromancers craft at hand; for so aloof and unreal and apart from the normal world did they seem to her, in the house of innumerable typewriters, murm uring their incantations and concocting their drugs, flinging th eir frail spiders webs over the torrent of life which rushed dow n the streets outside. (94) The imagery of light, fairy-tale towers, and an intricate web of connection describe Mary in her apartment in the beginning of chapter IV of Night and Day. This time with Mary and her cohorts working for suffrage, the images are an extension of Mary in her apartment talking about her suffrage work. Specifically, Katharine approves of Mary doing her suffrage work well: Katharine: Mary Datchet does that sort of work very well... Shes responsible for it, I suppose?
35 Ralph: Yes. The others dont he lp at all.... Has she made a convert of you? Katharine: Oh, no. That is, Im a convert already. Ralph: But she hasnt persuaded you to work for them? Katharine: Oh dear no that wouldnt do at all (94). Katharine realizes as does Ralph how strongly Mary imbues a room with her values. Mary Datchet has imbued her room and her office with her New Woman qualities of independence and control. She enjoys solitude as well as socializing with her friends. Even Katharine says after visiting Mary at the suffrage office that Mary seems different there than she does at her apartment. E ven Mary Datchet seems different in that atmosphere (100). When Katharine is discu ssing her SGS visit with her parents, they react negatively to the idea of suffrage. Mrs. Hilbery remembers her impression of Russell Square in the old days, when Mamma lived there, Mrs. Hilbery mused, and I cant fancy turning one of those noble great rooms into a stuffy little Suffrage office (100). Mr. Hilbery states, At any rate, they havent made a convert of Katharine, which was what I was afraid of (100). Furthermor e, he analyzes how the sight of ones fellow-enthusiasts always chokes one off. They show up the faults of ones cause so much more plainly than ones antagonists... (100). Mr. H ilbery reveals hi s awareness of how disturbing womens suffrage can be to the so cial order, especially the social order in his own family house. His relationship with his daughter and his wife would have to change, and he wants to remain comfortabl e with his present family interactions. However, Katharine assures her parents that I wouldn't work with them for anything
36 (100). Although later she tells Mary that sh e wants to join the cause, Remember, I want to belong to your society remember , she added (361). These kinds of conversations are a direct response to the w oman question and the concept of the New Woman. Without mentioning these words of social activism, Katharine and Mary are reflections of how the modern women of the early twentieth century are reconciling their familys generation with the new ideas and freedoms for women. The rest of chapter IV in Night and Day foregrounds Woolfs cr itique of literary discussion and attempts to be rebellious a nd culturally cutting edge. There are comments about Shakespeare and the Elizabethan use of metaphor by William Rodney, who understands meter but not imagination. Mary says, I expect a good solid paper, with plenty of quotations from the classics (49). This is exactly the paper that William delivers. The evening salon is also a chan ce to introduce Katharine, Ralph, Mary, and William to each other in order for them to interact and reveal their personalities. Marys interaction with Katharine offers an opportuni ty for them to talk about marriage, the sheep-like behavior of the guests (57). De nham is tearing up handfuls of grass or carpet out of frustration because he wants to talk to Katharine, not William. (Earlier Mary has fantasized about sheep in her daydreaming about the Susse x down.) Katharine questions Mary about profe ssions for women. I suppose youre one of those people who think we should all have professions, she said, rather distantly, as if feeling her way among the phantoms of an unknown world ( 58). The unknown world is about the new freedom coming for women. Is this a phantom dream? Mary says no and that not all women need a profession. However, Katharin e insists that with a profession, you will always be able to say that youve done someth ing... (59). In regards to this need to be
37 active publicly, the two women di scuss politics: I wonder why men always talk about politics? Mary speculated, I suppose, if we had votes, we should too. Katharine replies, I dare say we should. And you spend your life getting us votes dont you? I do, said Mary, stoutly. From ten to six every day Im at it (58). So Katharine evolves as well as Mar y, after she meets Marys friends and coworkers and understands the advantages of having ones own space. Whatever advantages Katharine has she views as obsta cles to fulfilling her love of astronomy and mathematics. Katharine wants to express he r response openly and diplomatically. In her relationship with her fianc, William R odney, she adapts New Woman behaviors, refusing to reflect Williams self-glorification, as he puts it. Katharines attitude towards William falls short in his estimation; as he sees it, she never took the normal channel of glorification of him and his doings... (246) Katharines thinking about men reflects Marys direct approach and not trying to please that Woolf us es to describe Mary in the beginning of chapter IV. William tries to align Katharines hidden passionate nature with their future marriage and children. She will make a perfect mother a mother of sons, he thought, but seeing her sitting there, gloomy and silent, he began to have doubts on this point. Farce, a farce, he thought to hims elf. She said that our marriage would be a farce (246). Katharine has told William th at her ideas of marriage and children are the exact opposite of normal expectations. Clearly, Katharines relationship with William Rodney is fraught with her struggles to become a New Woman. When Kath arine visits him for the first time alone, he fusses continually over th e appearance of himself and his surroundings. He is a sensitive character who l oves literature. His flat is filled with books, music, and clutter.
38 He has seen that the fire burnt well; jam-pot s were on the table, tin covers shone on the fender, and the shabby comfort of the room was extreme. He was dressed in his old crimson dressing-gown, which was faded irregul arly and had bright new patches on it, like the paler grass which one finds on lifting a stone (136). (Perhaps this is the same grass as on the Sussex down in Marys daydreaming.) Rodney had three times changed from dressing-gown to tail-co at to dressing-gown and placed tie-pin in three different positions. Finally, he settled on the dressi ng-gown and no tail-coat (136). Katharine asks to look at his books and pictures. She is completely at ease among books, candles, and teacups. William is constructing his own space and himself, in hopes that he will appear acceptable to Katharine. The tables are turned because Katharine is influencing William, and her response to William and his room and their future marriage are not meeting his expectations. Much later on, during a romantic carriage ride, William ruminates over Katharines unromantic response toward him an d his feelings become confused even as she is sitting next to him in the carriage: It was clear that she had been a very desirable and distinguished figure, the mistress of her little se ction of the world; but more than that, she was the person of all others who seemed to him the arbitress of life, the woman whos e judgment was naturally right and steady, as his had never been in spite of all his culture. And then he could not see her come into a room without a sense of the flowing robes, of the flowering of blossoms, of the purple waves of
39 the sea, of all things that are lo vely and mutable on the surface but still and passionate in their heart. (240) As William continues running over the list of his gifts and acquirements, his knowledge of Greek and Latin, his knowledge of art and literature, his skill in the management of meters, and his ancient west -country blood (240), he still wonders how he can love Katharine when she insults and disp arages his ideas. In the passage about his feelings for Katharine, we see William feels inferior to Katharine in terms of culture, even though he knows more than she does. He mentions how he feels when she comes into a room. This is the re sponse that Woolf talks about in A Room of Ones Own, that is, how a woman changes the atmosphere of a r oom when she walks in. Katharine is the more aristocratic version of the New Woman. She speaks frankly to Ralph, William, her parents, and Mary. She is somewhat aloof and absent-minded, and she also is forging her own new image and answer to the woman ques tion. At first, she says she would not think of working for suffrage, but as mentione d earlier, she later decides that she wants to join the suffrage cause. William is experienci ng the effects of Katharines transformation from a woman as described and circumscribed by her familys heritage to a New Woman that has interests in astronomy and mathematics, not literature and marriage. Furthermore, Mary Datchet is more than a New Woman model for Katharine Hilbery. Mary and her apartment become a beacon, a lighthouse for further connection with the other characters. Suffrage, the lighthouse image, and military language all attract the different characters and will echo in other Woolfian writings, Jacobs Room and The Years. Mary is the gather ing lighthouse, the moth that entices Ralph and Katharine and, to some extent, William Rodney. Marys steadiness and passion for
40 suffrage calm and excite Ralph and Katharine. Ralph talks of fee ling like a lighthouse besieged by the flying bodies of lost birds ( 394-95). He had a stra nge sensation that he was both lighthouse and bird; he was steadfast and brilliant; and at the same time he was whirled, with all other things, senseless agai nst the glass (394). Ralph is feeling confused and guilty for upsetting Mary and their relationship. He is trying to understand a whirlwind of feelings for Katharine, and so he sympathizes with airborne birds who are attracted to lighthouses but dont understa nd the glass windows. Later, Ralph and Katharine are attracted to the light within Ma rys apartment as they stand outside: They stood for some moments, looking at the illumina ted blinds, an expression to them both of something impersonal and serene in the spirit of the woman within, working out her plans far into the night her plan s for the good of a world that none of them were ever to know (506). Ralph feels the same way, attract ed to the yellow light of the Hilberys house. Marys light and the Hilberys burni ng lamps have the same significance in that they portend the future for Ralph and Ka tharine and the next generation. Both generations will only glimpse the changes that Mary plans. Looking at the lighted rooms, Ralph and Katharine think that books were to be written, and since books must be written in rooms... (507). Ralph enumerates the people he connects with the new world vision of reformers like Mary: Sally Seal, Mrs. Hilbery, William, and Cassandra, They appeared to him to be more than individuals; to be made up of many different things in cohesion; he had a vision of an orderly world (506). Ralphs statement is a summ ation of Woolfs vision for Night and Day and all the characters in it who are tryi ng to fashion a life. Kathar ine tries to understand Ralphs thinking about how all thes e people and ideas connect.
41 She felt him trying to piece together in a laborious and elementary fashion the fragments of belief, unsoldered and separate, lacking unity of phrases fashioned by the ol d believers. Its all so easy its all so simple, Katharine quoted remembering some words of Sally Seals, and wishing to understand that she followed the track of his thought. (506) Together they groped in this difficult region, where the unfinished, the unfulfilled, the unwritten, the unreturned, came together in their ghostly way and wo re the semblance of the complete and the satisfactory. ... They had entered the enchanted region (507). The future emerged more splendid than ev er from this construction of the present (506). This is a summation of Woolfs goal for all of her writing. Right here in her second novel she has laid out her plan for how the next generation after Mary, Ralph, Katharine, William, and Cassandra will shape the future and help to answer the questions about the New Woman. Mark Hussey quotes Hermione Lee in his book Virginia Woolf A to Z that Night and Day is integral to the whole of Woolfs work (7). Not only is Night and Day integral with Woolf' work as a whole, but also chap ter IV is similarly integral, or central, to Night and Day. Chapter IV, which describes Mary Da tchets apartment and the evening literary salon activities, is a microcosm of Night and Day, as well as several important themes and codes for Woolf's writing. Within the first two pages of chapter IV, Woolf has condensed her entire philosophy of feminist liberation using Mary Datchet as a focus for suffrage, the New Woman, and the economic and social rewards of ones own space. The use of military language, fantasy images, and suffrage content is embedded in
42 descriptions of Marys life. Not only is Mary the private in the ar my of workers (48), she is also a warrior camped out in the grassy mounds of her sofas. She is a fantasy warrior on the heights of the Sussex down, amid the swelling green ci rcle of some camp of ancient warriors (48). By inference, Mary is a militant suffragist leading the battle of womens suffrage. All of this is overlaid with a strong fantasy element and the light images so pervasive in Woolfs writing. T he moonlight would be falling there so peacefully now, and she could fancy the rough pathway of silver upon the wrinkled skin of the sea (48). Furthermore, while Mary is darning a stocking, a very mundane chore, her mind reverts back to the Sussex down and the quiet sheep, and shadows of the little trees moved very slightly this way and that in the moonlight as the breeze went through them (48-49). The images of moonlight and Sussex down are not central to Woolfs plot; rather they are pa rt of Woolfs interest in following the consciousness of Mary as it wanders from a homey task of darning to mo re exciting and poetic ideas and atmosphere. Mary, in her mind, is creating an atmosphere of culture and peace in her apartment so that her part of London can attract visitors and litera ry discussion. She has created a space that she can control and contai n with her New Woman values.
43 Chapter Three Mary Datchet and Jacob Flanders: New Woman and Cambridge Man Woolfs characterizations of the Ne w Woman in Night and Day and her description of interior room space to de fine character are further developed and contrasted in Jacobs Room. Mary Datchet is a prime example of the New Woman in Night and Day; however, in Jacobs Room there is a New Woman and Cambridge man dichotomy that further extrapolates the soci al model for women and men at the time of the novel. The Cambridge men in Jacobs Room are a foil for the lack of New Women in the novel. Similarly, Mary Datchets room and Jacob Flanderss room reflect their opposing gender perspectives. Mary Datchets apartment room is fu ll of her personality. It is imbued with Marys fantasy web of networking and setting the stage for guests. Jacobs room is a reverse-mirror image of Marys. Descriptions of Jacob Flanderss room are full of his absence. There are spiritual vo ices in the breeze, a creaking wicker chair: Listless is the air in an empty room; swe lling the curtain: the flowers in the jar shift. One fiber in the wicker arm-chair creaks though no one sits there (37). Woolfs famous statement about J acobs room explains more about Jacobs absence than about his ownership of the r oom space. As Ralph Freedman says in his essay, The Form of Fact and Fiction: Jacobs Room as Paradigm, by displaying once more the dialogue of interlocking moments of awareness, by revealing that texture of relationships, the novel itself, which is the tr ue furniture of Jacobs room (138). This quote describes Jacobs life and room through interior and exterior means. You might say that Jacob Flanderss room is the night room compared to Mary Datchets day room.
44 All is revealed in Marys daylight room her personality, and her future plans which are all accented by lighting designed to shape the dram atic effect of her stage. Jacobs nightlit room never fully reveals his personality. His thoughts are never decisive and his plans are vague and in the dark. In contrast with the New Woman characters of Night and Day who are progressive in their attempts to create new roles for women, the women in Jacobs Room seem to fall back into their old roles. Betty Flanders, Fanny Elme r, and Florinda and Clara Durrant are passive with Jacob and are treated as inferiors whose only importance is their relationship to Jacob. Only Julia He dge is a New Woman and female activist. In Jacobs Room, the female characters are strugg ling within the rigid rules for women, which Jacobs room epitomizes. As mentioned in the introduction, the New Woman in the twentieth century was struggl ing to break the bonds of sister, daughter, mother, and housewife, and live the new lifes tyle of career, no ma rriage, and economic independence. The female characters in Jacobs Room are still contained and defined by their identification with Cambridge rules, which circumscribe women with a sense of classical inferiority. Betty Flanders is a mother who cannot save her son from war. Fanny Elmer is an artist, but she cannot confide her love to Jacob, as he is indifferent to her art. Clara Durrant, the si ster of Charles Durrant, Jacobs friend, cannot make Jacob understand her as a substantial woman wort hy of being his wife (Sutherland 68). Florinda is physically attractive, but Jacob dismisses her as br ainless, while, at the same time, he enjoys her sexuality.
45 Only Julia Hedge, described as a feminist, rails against preferential treatment of males in the British Museum library. Statisti cal research is her only weapon against the patriarchal order. She marshals facts to do battle, but Woolfs descri ption of Julia reveals futility in ever making progress for women. Julia has fire in her eyes, but will any practical result come from it? Woolf implies that Julias energetic research is futile and may allow women to die as early as men do. Equality feminism, as defined by Naomi Black, is not the goal for Woolf or Julia, but ra ther social and economic equity feminism. Otherwise women are left unfulfilled and still powerless. I am indebted to Cori Sutherland for her exploration of Substantial Men and Transparent Women: Issues of Solidarity in Jacobs Room . This article examines how the male characters in Jacobs Room are viewed as substantial since they follow traditional Cambridge rules. However, Sutherland claims, the women in Jacobs Room are described in transparent terms: they ar e veiled, light glows through them, they seem to lack bodies. Society allows men to gain access to Cambridge reality by constructing men of substance who are decisive in their actions. Women, in contrast, are valued for their transparency and their ex clusion from this reality (68) Fanny is bright yet vague (68). The women in Jacobs Room are transparent and impressionistic women. Jacob is described as a young man of substance and powerfully built (68). Although Jacobs actions seem to contradict such forceful de scriptions, these words paint a picture of a young man of achievement. Whereas, by a trick of firelight [Florinda] seemed to have no body (68). Echoing the ideas of Jane Goldman, in The Feminist Aesthetics of Virginia Woolf, Ralph Freedman notes that light imag es reflect Woolfs impressionistic and postimpressionistic vision for her charact ers. Woolf's vision, according to Freedman,
46 is to transform social facts into social ch aracters (126). The use of light images for women is pervasive in Jacobs Room: As for the beauty of women, it is like the light on the sea, never constant to a single wave. They all have it; they all lo se it. Now she is dull and thick as bacon; now transpar ent as hanging gl ass (115). The Cambridge men in Jacobs Room are foils for the lack of New Women in the novel. The university professors are ineff ectual, damaged, or wounded. The lameness of Huxtable, for example, hints of a classica l reference to Oedipus. Since Woolf puts Cambridge on a classical pedestal, this is ap propriate. Again, Cori Sutherland points out how Jacobs mentors at Cambridge are a ll somehow emasculated by their Cambridge heritage. Barfoots lameness and his military service indicate that both are flaws caused by his maleness. The women characters in Night and Day and Jacobs Room are more interesting and developed than the male charact ers. Although it is an earlier novel, Night and Day explores the New Woman in greater depth, s howing the characters of Mary Datchet and Katharine Hilbery as New Women who are exploring the possibilities of womens independence in the beginning of the twentieth century. Katharine Hilbery is forging a new identity as an upper-class woman who wa nts to marry Ralph Denham but also wants to retain her individual pe rsonality and interests in astronomy and mathematics. Katharine yearns for her own room away fr om her familys demands. She hopes Ralph will give her the space to research her interests while he does his own writing about English society. Katharine is not an adj unct to Ralph, but rather a complement and someone who will abate loneliness for both of them.
47 Mary Datchet refuses Ralphs invitation to marriage, even though in some ways she is more compatible to Ralph than Katharine is. Both Mary and Ralph are interested in reforming society, but their relationship is more like sister and brother. They both have siblings and are comfortable with that type of relationship. Ultimately, Mary wants the freedom to pursue socialism and economic parity, while Ralph is not so comfortable with Katharine but finds her more exciting. Mary realizes she must sacrifice a romantic future in order to achieve the social progress, including suffrage, that she decides is more important. She becomes a beacon of light to Ralph and Katharine as they view her apartment window from the street. They think of her toiling on her manuscript about Some Aspects of the Democratic State. Marys fervor for social reform and economic independence guide her life. Woolf makes her more effective than the character Julia Hedge, whose research seems futile in comparison. The female characters in Jacobs Room seem to be foils for each other and for Mary Datchet and Katharine Hilbery as well. Each of the women in Jacobs Room is maintaining the status quo before the impendi ng war that bodes danger for all of British society. Only Julia Hedge tries to represent progressive womens rights. Julia Hedge is a feminist who spends her time in the British Museum library marshaling her arguments for equality and equity. She rails against the lack of recognition of women on the walls and ceiling of the library dome where Greek, Roman, and Eastern philosophers and Shakespeare are proclaimed as great people, but they are all men (106) Julia is portrayed as a futile creature like Sally Seale, full of zeal but ineffective. Mary Datchet is more determined and organized.
48 Increasingly, contemporary feminist liter ary criticism has centered on Virginia Woolfs use of space. Spatia lization and sexualization of sp ace have become emerging trends within the feminist field. A Room of Ones Own and Three Guineas are two of her most popular writings in this regard. Femini st critics are still finding more diverse and complex pathways in Woolfs novels, specifically in Night and Day and Jacobs Room. These novels are becoming increasingly crucia l to understanding the Woolfian room. In order to compare Jacob Flanderss room to Mary Datchets room, a definition of the Woolfian room is needed. Woolf us es the metaphor of a room as a personal, gendered private space that later expands to a global room. The Woolfian room as described in A Room of Ones Own is a statement about privacy and the ability to use a room as a place to write, to think, and to beco me Shakespeares sister. A Woolfian room is a place of accomplishment: a place that is controlled and arranged by the owner as a support and a comfort away from the rest of th e world. In contrast, the world outside is to be conquered and reformed. Ambitious and enterprising women, such as suffragists, can bring the creativity of their private world into refo rming the public sphere. Women can fill the literary gaps on the shelves of lib raries and bookstores. The Woolfian room, on the other hand, waits quietly and produ ces thoughtful history and stories about women. It has a unique view to the outside world that allows for being a spectator and a participant. Virginia Woolf uses a room as a complex metaphor for feminine character and personal political power. Woolfs room de scriptions are full of images that clarify the mood and character of the owner. While Woolf wants to use a room as a spatial metaphor for feminine character, she does not want to limit or delimit the wa lls. The ideal room has no limit on physical
49 walls or sexual identity. It is an androgynous, ever-expanding room that gives feminine creativity all the expansion it needs. This rooms identity seems hidden because it is ambiguous and continually self-constructing a nd deconstructing. Judith Shakespeares room in A Room of Ones Own offers this potential to create identity, to protect, to regenerate and rearm creativit y. Eventually, the Woolfian room becomes a world of its own as it reaches out to a global village of other women. Personal space has now become global space with the creative power of expanding exponentiall y. As Woolf said in her famous statement in A Room of Ones Own: For women have sat indoors all these millions of years, so that by this time the very walls are permeated by their creative force, which has, indeed, so over-charg ed the capacity of bricks and mortar that it must needs harness itself to pens and brushes and business and politics. But this creative force differs greatly from the creative force of men. (87) A Room of One's Own develops Woolfs ideas of feminine space further: the indoor, feminine space is imbued with feminine creativity, which must burst the walls at some point and blossom into something hi gher. This outside expansion is the something that will expand womens horizons and power. Woolf also uses a room as a metaphor for relating to the out side world. Julie Robin Solo mon, in her intriguing article Staking Ground: The Politics of Space in Virginia Woolfs A Room of Ones Own and Three Guineas, discusses how Woolfs room beco mes an ever-expanding room which eventually circumscribes (or constitutes) the entire world (331).
50 The whole concept of a room, therefore, expands to streets and towns and country, to England, Germany, Am erica, and eventually the w hole world. Woolfs use of spatial metaphor is at the heart of her me ssage about womens social and political existence. A room becomes a place to regroup, but also to reach out and unite with other women in a global village concept. The room metaphor combined with the global village concept gives women a realizable goal: Both in the Introdu ctory Letter and in A Room the notion of the room serves as a potent political metaphor for women because it concretizes visually, tactilely the politicization of the personal and the personalization of the poli tical. The achieving of personal space in A Room as opposed to a simple place within someone elses framework, makes a woman into a respected citizen, constitutes her as a politi cal subject. (Solomon 332) The whole concept of a room now includes the global village and the norms and values of female sisterhood (332). Political change within the patriarcha l system is Woolfs aim in A Room of Ones Own. With enough capital and priv ate power space, women can exert power within this system. Reform can make the system make room for women. Women can then control inhe ritance, their private prope rty and can endow womens institutions. Woolfs views ch ange, however, when she writes Three Guineas. Her previous suppositions and assumptions a bout patriarchys making room for women have been tested and found inadequate. Such a gendered space is what Woolf outwardly advocated in A Room, a space where a woman can write and not be disturbe d. However, if the woman is doing serious
51 writing, this is also a professional space, a la boratory space for literary experiments. Woolf wants it both ways, in more ways than one. She always in her writing and never more so than in her use of spatial metaphor The ever-expanding r oom of Introductory Letter swells and expands with sexual connot ation for women as well as their rooms. Sisterhood values become international values as well. Insider considerations become outsider considerations. Wome n who have been banished fr om chapel, lawn, and library can both take to the streets, and create and claim their own internal rooms. When the ever-expanding room is achieved, then wo men can exert their personal feminine influence and be available to street culture. They can be vulnerabl e to outside sexual and political influence, but at the same time, they can be strong enough to pick and choose what they want to keep. Mary Datchets room and Jacob Flanderss room are gendered personal space and that is why a comparison is useful in unders tanding Woolfs suffrage politics. Marys creative force is personified in her room quite differently th an Jacobs room persona. For Mary, the important focus is that women have the advantage of being outsiders who are not a part of the establishments intrinsic prob lems. Mary is at the very center of urban opportunity in London: in the wonderful maze of London which is like a vast electric light casting a radiance on her and all of London (48). Mary feel s that her life is combining her past rural heritage with the exciting opportunities provided by London. As can be seen from Woolfs description and my analysis so far, Woolf is combining the rural and urban influences of suffrage in he r picture of Mary and her apartment. As mentioned earlier, in chapter two of this dissertation, Woolf care fully details Marys hostess preparations for the literary salon that evening. The atmosphere in Marys room
52 that night has a theatrical drama that suits Marys intentions a nd is underscored with Woolfs emphasis on the effects of lighting: S he knelt before the fire and looked into the room. The light fell softly, but with clear radiance, through shades of yellow and blue, and the room, which set with one or two sofa s resembling grassy mounds in their lack of shape, looked unusually large and quiet (48) Woolf implies that Mary is doing poetic battle in her own living room when she writes, Mary was led to think of the height of a Sussex down, and the swelling green circle of some camp of ancient warriors (48). The grassy mounds in Marys case are her two sofas. This is an important moment, with its grassy mounds, dramatic lighting, and heroic warriors, which contrasts with Woolfs final description of Jacob Flanderss room. This description contains aspects of previ ous Woolfian rooms but with the addition of male creativity that Woolf mentions in A Room of Ones Own: womens creative force differs greatly from the creative force of men (87). The title of Jacobs Room clearly signals that Woolf is again going to use a room metaphor. Avrom Fleishchmans Critical Reading of Virginia Woolf spotlights Jacob Flanderss room as containing the paraphernalia of concrete objects which re present Jacobs character. All of the descriptive details are very British upper-middle class and slightly Stracheyan (52): Jacobs room had a round table an d two low chairs. There were yellow flags in a jar on the mantelpiece; a photograph of his mother; cards form societies with raised crescents, coats of arms, and initials; notes and pipes; on th e table lay paper ruled with a red margin an essay, no doubt -- Does History Consist of the Biographies of Great Men? There were books enough. ... Listless
53 is the air in an empty room, just swelling the curtain; the flowers in the jar shift. One fiber in the wicker arm-chair creaks, though no one sits there. (37) Jacobs student room at Cambridge has the usual mementos of a young man of a certain class and reading interests. Jacob may inhabit his room, and collect objects and imbue his personality when he is in his room, but ot herwise there is empty air, listlessness. As Fleischman points out: The most unusual items in the catalogue of Jacobs room are those that express the inhabitants presence even when he is physically absent; not merely fragile things like air, curtains, flowers, but wicker fibers, whose shape and movement are hypothetically ascribed to Jacobs impress. (53) Woolfs description of Jacobs student room utilizes some of her favorite descriptive writing devices, such as a catalogue list and a reference to biography, which questions the importance of mens lives as th e only barometer of history. Nevertheless, the phantom of Jacob is still there, affecting events and the pe ople in his life. His flat in Lambs Conduit Street has some significant details th at differ from his student room. In Cambridge, books and furniture are s econd-hand. Jacobs rented room in Lambs Conduit Street has old furniture pie ces: the three wicker armchairs and the gatelegged table from Cambridge. The room rent ed from Mrs. Whitehorn is in a 150-yearold house. Woolf describes the virtues of an aged house: The rooms are shapely, the ceilings high; over the doorway a rose, or ra ms skull, is carved in the wood. The eighteenth century has its distin ction. Even the panels, pa inted in raspberry-coloured paint, have their distinction... (70). In ot her words, whatever distinction the room has belongs to the eighteenth century, not Jacob s modern world. The furniture is still
54 second-hand, reflecting Jacobs failed attemp ts to rebel from the tired, patriarchal thinking of his Cambridge professors. He tries to write a publishable essay about Wycherley repudiating his professor Bulteel, of Leeds: Professor Bulteel, of Leeds, had issued an edition of Wycherley without stating that he had left out, disemboweled, or indicated only by asterisks, several indecent words and some indecent phrases. An outrage, Jacob said; a breach of faith; sheer prudery; token of a lewd mind and a disgus ting nature. Aristophanes and Shakespeare were cited. Modern life was repudiated. He knew no one would ever print them; and sure enough back they came from the Fortnightly, the Contempor ary, the Nineteenth Century when Jacob threw them into the black wooden box where he kept his mothers letters, his old flanne l trousers, and a note or two with the Cornish postmark. The lid shut upon the truth. (70) Jacob has brought his black portable trunk box from Cambridge, which contains the baggage of his former life. What truth is in his life is contained in this box, little escapes from it. Any refutation of Cambridge thought will never see the light of the publishing world. Cambridge truth remain s victorious. The Cambridge version of reality dominates Jacobs thinking as he tries to confine Cambridge lessons and his rebuttal inside the black wooden box, upon which his name was stil l legible in white paint, stood between the long windows of the sitti ng-room (70). The many objects in the Cambridge room create a testimony to Cambridge life and its male exclusiveness. Jacobs objects speak of his limitations. The one fiber that creaks is a very small squeak against the universal
55 wind that blows through his accomplishments. His life has been empty and privileged. His room is the visual equivalent. Having not succeeded in rearranging his th inking, Jacob also does not rearrange his room to suit certain social events. All of his furniture, chairs table, and black box, remain where they were first placed. He doe s not think poetically of the Sussex down as Mary Datchet does. There is no theatrical lighting. Woolf, the impersonal narrator merely records objects in Jacobs room and the social conversati ons between Jacob and his friends. Mary sets a stage for her literar y salon, but Jacobs fate is on the world stage of World War I. Whereas Mary Datchet im bues her apartment with every once of her New Woman personality and her commitment to social reform, Jacobs room, on the other hand, is restricted by the past and th e patriarchal conventi ons of Cambridge. Mary Datchets room is a global room that is not only located at the center of London but also metaphorically expands her socialist activism into the outside world. Solomon quotes Woolfs Introductory Letter to Life as We Have Known It to explain the concept of an ever-expandi ng room that grows as wome n join together: And then that room became a place where one could ma ke, and share with others in making, the model of what a working womans house shoul d be. Then as membership grew and twenty or thirty women made a practice of meeting weekly, that one house became a street of houses and if you have a stre et of houses you must have stores... (331). The whole concept of room, th erefore, expands to streets and towns and country, to England, Germany, America, and eventually, th e whole world. Woolfs use of spatial room metaphor is at the heart of her me ssage about womens social and political existence. A room becomes a place to regroup, but also to reach out and unite with other
56 women in a global village concept giving women a realizable goal: Both in the Introdu ctory Letter and in A Room the notion of the room serves as a potent political metaphor for women because it concretizes visually, tactilely the politicization of the personal and the personalization of the poli tical. The achieving of personal space in A Room as opposed to a simple place within someone elses framework, makes a woman into a respected citizen, constitutes her as a politi cal subject. (Solomon 332) The whole concept of a Woolfian room now includes the global village as the norms and values of female sisterhood as opposed to the norms and values of Cambridge and its patriarchy (332). Mary Datchets room realizes all these concepts, and Mary herself begins to realize what her independence a nd social reform can mean for all women. Jacob Flanders, of course, is not trying to reform society, although he does criticize the interpretation of Virgil, the Bible, or Wycherley by his professors (40). Nevertheless, Cambridge thinking and his professors constrict Jacob as his truth is stuffed in his trunk box never to escape. However, Woolf extends Jacobs view out his window by a narration about English history, specifically in London, which rev eals a global view to the reader, if not to Jacob. At these times, Jacobs Room might be more aptly titled Jacobs Window. Woolf will revisit this historical visionary approach in her novel The Years. Woolf describes what Jacob sees when he gazes out of the window in his room to the streets below. Lambs Conduit Street is the scene of everyday activities which are little remarked about, except by Woolf. She describes a reck less van driver who
57 narrowly misses a little girl posting a lett er on the corner pillar-box. She is half frightened, half curious. She paused with he r hand in the mouth of the box; then dropped the letter and ran away (64). Woolf sympathizes with th e child but then goes on to discount the childs brief discomfort: It is seldom only that we see a child on tiptoe with pity more often a dim discomfort, a grain of sand in the shoe which its scarcely worth while to remove thats our feeling, and so Jacob turned to the bookcase (64). Yet, Woolf has spent several sentences describing this childs fear a nd dim discomfort, which is now sharply etched in the readers consciousness. This is similar to Woolfs discounting the bricks and mortar of Cambridge as nothing at all (44-6). Not only does this passage describe how dangerous the street s can be but also the fear of a little girl, reminiscent of Rose Pargiter who in The Years is witness to a sexual exhibitionist: When she reached the pillar box there was the man again. He was l eaning against it, as if he were ill, Rose thought, filled with the terror ingrained in the social ization of females, especially little girls. It also demonstr ates Woolfs ambiguous relationship with street culture, since the dangers manifested by reck less traffic and sexual predators in London streets exhilarated but also frightened her. The little girls feel the same way. Supposedly, Jacobs Room is about the adventures of a young Cambridge student, yet Woolf is commenting extensively about young gi rls and how dangerous the streets are for women as well. The passage of the Contagi ous Diseases Act relates to these limits on women and little girls app earing on public streets. Jacob has a window view that expands the walls of his room a nd allows Woolf to comment on decades of London history and daily lif e. If Jacob were as observant of the street view as Woolf, he might understand mo re about his own life. Woolf, the narrator
58 of Jacobs Room has to provide this perception of the outside world to the reader and also leave clues to historical institutions, such as St. Pauls and the London Opera House. This long commentary provides a base for Wool fs plans to change British society and her Utopian view for the world. Descri ptive commentary of historical London in Jacobs Room is a prelude to Woolfs more extensive historical view in The Years.
59 Chapter Four The Years New Women and Pargiter Men: Rooms, Pillar-Boxes, and Bridges The New Women of The Years are represented by Woolfs urban images of the pillar-box and the bridge. Combined with the room metaphors prev iously examined in Night and Day and Jacobs Room, these are the constant images of The Years. Woolfs urban images work inside and outsi de of city streets to reveal Woolfs idea of the design behind all of lifes events. The urban images represent the physical aspects of this design process. The specific urban images of rooms, pillar-boxes and bridges symbolize either freedom from patria rchy or at the same time the limits that patriarchy imposes on women. Rooms are self-c ontained yet can expand their walls in a protean way. Pillar-boxes symbolize the opportunity to communica te, yet their phallic shape reminds Woolf of male oppression. The bridges are physical escape routes built by men. The following discussion details all th ese aspects of street architecture and furniture that are as familiar to Br itish citizens as their own homes. Rooms The types of houses in The Years differ from those in the earlier novels, but Woolfs attention to the rooms remains th e same. Whether the houses are Abercorn Terrace or the Browne Street home of Digby a nd Eugenia, they are all composed of inner rooms, literally and figuratively. The drawing rooms, nurseries, and bedrooms contain the Pargiter women who live ther e. The other inner rooms or spaces are those within the
60 minds and imaginations of these women, which are in contrast with the other rooms of the house and the outer rooms of the city. Th e city rooms are the areas where the women are allowed to shop, visit each other, and expl ore museums and librari es. All are located in public streets and squares where the Pargit er New Women are now allowed to travel. The New Women of The Years are learning to control all t ypes of rooms, and the suffrage voting rights are key elements in this transformation. The Pargiter New Women, including include Rose and Elea nor, eventually obtain fair eq uity rights and suffrage. In the Present Day chapter, Rose and Eleanor realize they can control their lives and the rooms that they inhabit. In The Years Rose Pargiters connection to the nursery room highlights many facets of Roses personality. She is protected by her nurse and her parents when she is in the nursery room. Early in the novel, Rose is told to fetch her embroi dery project that she is making for her fathers birthd ay. Rose really wants to visi t a local store, Lamleys, but her brother Martin has refused to come with her. However, Rose wants to leave the nursery with its restrictions and have a street adventure. So she plans to go by herself. She makes an excuse to find her workbox in another room, sneaks past the nursery, down the stair, and out the front door. Roses es cape from her nursery and embroidery duties turns into more than she bargained for. The escapade is enlarged by its connection to street danger and pillar-boxes. She learns a lesson that she neve r forgets and which strengthens her determination to be a suffr agist and an independe nt lesbian woman. Drawing-room activities, like tea and conversation, are backgrounds for family dynamics and indirect comments by Woolf on patriarchal authority and duties for the boys and girls in the Pargiter family. Rose is reprimanded for a green stain on her pink
61 pinafore, and Eleanor is cautione d about returning late from her social welfare project. The boys Martin and Morris, on the other hand, ar e allowed to have t ea but are instructed to get to work promptly on their school pre p, which is one reason that Martin does not go with Rose to Lamleys. All of this family background is used to explain why a restless, rebellious Rose is lured by Lamleys to run out to the adventure of the street and escape from the restriction and tens ion of the family home. All of these family memories are repeated in Woolfs description of the emotions and realities of the Pargiters, as they must deal with selling Abercorn Terrace after the death of their father Abel Pargiter. El eanor listens to the house agent explain the deficiencies of the house: Th e fact is, our clients expect more lavatory accommodation nowadays, he said. ... She was annoyed; as he went around the house, sniffing and peering, he had indicted thei r cleanliness, their humanity; and he used absurd long words (215). The drawing room where most Pargiter activities took place looks worn, and its walls bear marks where the bookcase and writing-table had stood against them. Eleanor remembers her duties as a bookk eeper, which she disliked. Crosby, the housekeeper, remembers every cleaning chore that she did for forty years. The passage of time and the duties of women are evoked. The ephemeral importance of all of it is bittersweet. Martin repeat s this evocative experience wh en visiting the house of Digby and Eugenia, his well-loved aunt. The car etaker of Digbys house ignores Martin when he comes to see the house before it sells. Bu t there is a red strip across the house-agents board. Three months after Digbys death th e house had been sold. A feeling of something extinguished came over him as he went down the street (148).
62 These are years of history in the Pa rgiter family, as passage of time has extinguished and liberated family members. But some of the memories are still being lived as Rose becomes a suffragist and Eleanor learns to live indepe ndently. The Pargiter New Women are now allowed to operate freely inside houses and outside in city rooms. Rose remembers the time her older brother Martin did not escort her to Lamleys. Martin and Rose remember their childhoods: What aw ful lives children live! he said, waving his hand at her as he crossed the room. Yes , said Rose. And they cant tell anybody, she added (159). Martin and Rose remember their childhood but not in exactly the same way. Martin remembers Rose as a firebrand and that she had the devil's own temper (159). Martin remembers the schoolroom scene in which Rose asks a favor: He saw her standing with her back to the school-room door; very red in the face, with her lips tight shut as they were now. She had wanted hi m to do something. And he had crumpled a ball of paper in his hand and shied it at her (159). The above scene was the precursor to one in which Rose escapes alone to go to La mleys. The episode has resonated with both Martin and Rose, but he remembers it as an inconvenience and another instance of Roses temper, while Rose remembers the fear she enco untered with an exhibi tionist stranger at the pillar-box. This why she responds to Martins memory with And they cant tell anybody. Pillar-Boxes In The Years Woolf continues her thematic inte rest in the pillar-box, which she began in Jacobs Room and Night and Day. Several scenes contain Pargiter family
63 memories of pillar-box threats and adventur es. Eleanor, who is responsible for her younger brother Morris, remembers watching him mail a letter at the corner pillar-box and recalls that he had to pass the corner to walk to school. Roses secret experience at the pillar-box becomes a central life trauma of hers. Both family pairings, Martin and Rose, Eleanor and Morris, are connected to the first important urban image the pillarbox. Movable, portable pillar-boxes are devices that Woolf uses often and from the very beginning of her writing career. She can place the pillar-boxes wherever she wants, on any street corner, near any character. Wh enever she wants a characters response to a moral or societal problem, the pillar-box becomes more than scenery; it defines a certain feminist response that Woolf wants from her characters. As early as 1931, Woolf conceived of a new book, to be a sequel to A Room of Ones Own, about the sexual life of women to be called Professions for Women perhaps -Lord how exciting! This sprang out of my paper to be read on Wednesday to Pippas society ( D 4:6). Woolfs speech to the London/National Society for Womens Service was the first appearance of th e pillar-box image. In that speech the pillar-box marked the boundary between the private and the pubi c worlds, between the dependent position of woman in the patriarchal home and the freedom of money and a room of ones own (Squier 168). Woolf goes on to speak of how complicated it was to get her completed review published. Walking to the pillar-box wa s the last step in an arduous process. Woolf explained that she had to request th e review opportunity, write the review, and conquer the angel in the house, in order to walk with her review to the pillar-box and start her professional writing life. The above quote from Susan Squier, illustrates the
64 connection in Woolfs mind between obstacles for women in the professional world and the pillar-box representing patr iarchal society. A sequel to A Room of Ones Own became entitled The Years, in which the strongest associati on with the pillar-box is Rose Pargiters nightmarish expedition. The se xual connection to th e pillar-box and Rose represents a conjunction of phallic and imperial istic symbolism, with its pillar shape and its raised insignia of royal power, that red box first teaches Rose Pargiter of the politics and social implications of her sexuality (Squier 169). Between her speech to the London/National Society for Womens Service and the publication of The Years, Woolf makes other references to the pillar-box in her writings. In Night and Day there is an extensive passage desc ribing Katharine Hilberys errand to mail a letter to Cassandra Otway. Here, it is sufficient to connect the pillar-box with the opportunity for a woman to walk in the street s, safely and unescorted. Katharine takes her letter to Cassandra with her, meaning to post it in the first pill ar-box she comes to. When, however, she was fairly out of doors, and constantly invited by pillar-boxes and post offices to slip her envelope down their s carlet throats, she forbore (311). Katharine continues clutching her letter as she thinks a bout her relationships to Cassandra, William Rodney, Ralph Denham, and Mary Datchet. Phantom voices urge her to make up her mind about marrying William or encouraging Cassandra to marry William. As Katharine mulls over these ideas, her thoughts go to tr aditional wisdom and etiquette for deciding these matters. Woolf highlights how inadequate these methods are for Katharine and that they are mostly barriers for making a good deci sion. So from the beginning of this passage, the image of the pilla r-box represents both tradition as an obstacle to female friendship and represents freedom or the possibility of womens liberation. The
65 pillar-box as a conjunction of phallic and imperialistic symbolism gives this image more possibilities for oppression and liberation than realized at fi rst sight (Squier 169). Because of these possibilities for oppre ssion and liberation, it is imperative for Woolf to use pillar-boxes to represent more th an the Royal Mail. Her interest in women and street culture becomes more focused with the image of a frightened but curious little girl. The little girl who is posting a letter in Jacob's Room is mirrored in Rose Pargiters nightmarish incident in The Years. Woolf describes a reckle ss van driver who narrowly misses a little girl posting a lett er at the corner pillar-box. She is half-frightened, half curious. She paused with her hand in the mouth of the box; then dropped the letter and ran away (6). This incident seems unimportant until Woolfs continuing plan to use pillar-boxes as symbols of repression beco mes clear. When it is understood that Woolf has used pillar-boxes consisten tly to represent more than th e Royal Mail, her interest in women and street culture becomes more focuse d. The image of a frightened but curious little girl near a pillar-box in Jacobs Room is mirrored in Rose Pargiters nightmarish incident in The Years. Rose Pargiter, on the other hand, has a mu ch more complicated personal history with a pillar-box. The little girl in Jacobs Room is frightened by fast traffic, while Rose is frightened by her encounter with a sexual predator. W oolfs description of Roses foray has military overtones which are anothe r code for Woolf's s ubversive strategy: Now the adventure has begun, Rose said to herself as she stole on tiptoe to the night nursery. Now she must provide herself with ammunition and provisions; she must steal Nurses latchkey; but where was it? ... There it was. Now she had her pistol and her
66 shot, she thought, taking her own purse from her own drawer, and enough provisions, she thought, as she hung her hat and coat over her arm, to last a fortnight. (26) Using a verbal defense mechanism that is part of her feisty personality, Rose retells her frightening adventure in military terms to give herself courage: I am Pargiter of Pargiters Horse, she said, flourishing her hand, riding to the rescue! She was riding by night on a desperate mission to a besieged garrison, she told herself. She had a secret message she clenched her fist on her purse to deliver to the General in person. All their lives depended on it. The British flag was still flying on the central towe r; the General was standing on the roof of Lamleys shop with his telescope to his eye. All their lives depended upon her riding to them through the enemys country. Here she was galloping across the desert. ... She had only to cross the desert, for the river, and she was safe. Flourishing the arm that held the pistol, she clapped spurs to her horse and galloped down Melrose Avenue. As she ran past the pillar-box the figure of a man suddenly emerged under the gas lamp. The enemy! Rose cried to herself. The enemy! Bang! she cried, pulling the trigger of her pistol a nd looking him full in the face as she passed him. ... He put out his ar m as if to stop her. He almost caught her. She dashed past hi m. The game was over. (28)
67 Patriarchal authority in the form of a pill ar-box has become the enemy. Furthermore, sexual danger to disobedient little girls is forced upon Rose. Having reached Lamleys, she has bought a box of ducks. Now she finds herself outside the store. She was too frightened to tell Mrs. Lamley about the pred ator and now she must return home from her mission: I gave my message to the General in person, she said to herself as she stood outside on the pavement again. And this is the trophy, she said, grasping the box under her arm. I am returning in triumph with the head of the chief rebel, she told herself, as she surveyed the stretch of Melrose Av enue before her. I must set spurs to my horse and gallop. But the story no longer worked. Melrose Avenue remained Melrose Avenue. (29) Even as a young girl, Rose is leading the charge against patriarchal oppression. She uses the disguises of military power to fortify herself against danger, but she finds the magic does not last. She remains a lonely little girl who is not equipped to undergo such a dangerous mission. She survives the mission, but the sexual trauma remains unspoken because her family does not speak of sex to little girls. Through Rose and a pillar-box, Woolf has connected disobedience to patriarchal rules with military espionage and street danger. In this way, Woolf ha s subverted the socially accepted patriarchal norms, which repress women, whether adults like Katharine Hilbery or little girls like Rose. Woolfs use of urban images is an inten tional shift toward indirection and a more subversive way of referencing British so cietys attempts to repress women. In The Years,
68 the pillar-box is used to represent barriers to professional women: and the struggle against male oppression and female repressi on that makes such work so difficult for women (Squier 168). Woolf has documented these barriers in her London speech and Katharine Hilberys attempts to mail a lett er to her cousin. The second association between repression of women and the pillarbox focused on restrictions on female sexual knowledge as conveyed in the scene in which Rose encounters a sexua l exhibitionist on her evening foray as a child. The fear enge ndered by this episode affects Rose for the rest of her life: the frightening episode becomes the essential cause for her lesbian orientation as an adult as well as a motiv ation for her courage to join the suffrage movement. Her New Woman orientation is e xplained as a rational decision based on her childhood experiences of female repression and oppression in her own family sphere. The phallic and imperialist features of the pillar-box become an embodiment of everything that shadows female sexuality. Woolfs symbolic use of the pillar-box al so refers to womens limited educational opportunity. This is Susan Squiers third point, and she demonstrates it through scenes with Eleanor and other family members. Elea nors early memories of closeness with her younger brother Morris are repeated later in the novel as well The first scene concerning their mothers imminent death shows Eleanor writing a letter to her oldest brother, Edward. Morris offers to mail the letter sinc e the tragic atmosphere in the family house is very oppressive. Eleanor watches him disappear down the street and around the corner to the pillar-box: Eleanor went to the front door with him and stood holding it open while he went to the pillar-box. ... She watched the curious
69 shadows that trembled on the pavement under the trees. Morris disappeared under the shadows round the corner. She remembered how she used to stand at the door when he was a small boy and went to day school with a satchel in his hand. She used to wave at him; and when he got to the corner he always waved back. It was a curious little ceremony, dropped now that they were both grown up. The shadows shook as she stood waiting; in a moment he emerged from the shadows.(44) Eleanor remembers how when Morris was a li ttle boy he was allowed to go to school, while she, his older sister, remained at home watching over him as long as he was in sight. There is an emphasis on curious shadows in this passage, which reminds the reader of street dangers both to lit tle boys and older women. Ar e the shadows interrogating those who walk in the streets? Are the shadow s asking whether it is safe for a child or a woman to walk by alone? Woolf repeatedly features children and women walking the streets during daily life. Sometimes the watchful eyes belong to an older sister, sometimes to a predator. For Rose, the eyes belong to a predator; for Morris they belong to a cari ng sister. These two scenes represent the difference in opportunity for the male and female members of the Pargiter family. The uneasiness and tens ion that Morris feels the night he mails Eleanors letter means he is se nsitive to the suppressed emoti ons of Eleanor since there is closeness between the two. However, he does not know how to express his concern, except by protecting her from city streets and the dangers of pilla r-boxes. As in the earlier episode with Rose, Eleanor knows something is wrong but not the full truth
70 because Rose withholds her story. Later, Martin realizes when he remembers the schoolroom scene that Rose is trying to tell him something, but neither of them can express their understanding. Th at is why Martin says that Abercorn Terrace is full of lies. At the end of The Years, Eleanor has flashbacks involvi ng her niece Peggy. In the taxi going to Delias party, Eleanor and Peggy pass an imposing unbroken avenue with its succession of pale pillars and steps (332). Eleanors mind relates the orderly architecture to a pale pompous beauty as one stucco column rep eated another stucco column all down the street (332). She thi nks of other pillars, namely pillar-boxes. Abercorn Terrace, said Elea nor, ...the pillar-box, she murmured as they drove past. Why the pillar-box? Peggy asked herself (332). Peggy wants to question Eleanors association with pillar-boxes. Another door had been opened. Old age must have endless avenues, stretching away and away down its darkness, she supposed, and now one door opened and then another (332). Th e pillar-boxes have added overtones of not only danger, but also the fear of old age and questions about suppressed emotions. As Susan Squier points out, Although Peggy doesn t understand Eleanors association, she soon seems to have a similar one: Was it that you were suppressed when you were young? (171). While Eleanor, in turn, does not understand fully Roses association with pillar-boxes, she senses that the pi llar-box embodies the demarcation between the male, public world (where education, professi onal, and sexual experiences are available) and the female, private world (where educati onal, professional, and sexual experiences are strictly curtailed, with men rationing money and social contacts) (Squier 171). Peggys generation has benefited from the relaxa tion of restrictions th at Eleanor and Rose
71 have lived with. As a doctor, Peggy has le arned to live in the educated, professional world open to women in the Present Day ch apter. But she also wants to know more details from Eleanor about her life as the elde r Pargiter sister. Ev en though Eleanor has traveled to India and China, she still feel s the restriction of opportunities that were offered to Morris but not to her. Her old age makes her regret the differences even more. Some doors have blown open, but many others will never be opened to her: Old age again, Peggy thought. Some gust blew open a door; one of the many millions in Eleanors seventy-odd years; out came a painful thought; wh ich she at once concealed she had gone to the writing-table and was fidgeting with papers with humble generosity, the painful humility of the old (328) Through Peggys eyes, the reader sees what Eleanors wishes have been; her disappointments and triumphs. Eleanor and her generation have bridged the way for Peggy and her generation. Rose Pargiter ha s been the most obvious pioneer of that opening of womens rights, through her suffragist advocacy. Bridges Whereas in The Years Woolf used the pillar-box image to represent womens limitations in late-Victorian England, she also used a bridge motif to suggest opportunities for women (Squier 172). Woolf s initial mention of bridges was in her essay on the art of writing, The Narr ow Bridge of Art, first published in Collected Essays in 1925 and then reprinted in The New York Herald Tribune on August 14, 1927. She argues that the twentieth -century novel will soon repl ace poetry and drama as the quintessential literary art form. The transf ormed English novel can reflect the modern
72 city life image better than traditional poetry a nd drama. Woolf suggests, therefore, that a new city view is needed for the modern novel. Woolf continues her defense of the modern novel by demonstrating how her modern city image reflects more accurately the atmosphere of twentieth century life: The long avenue of brick is cut up into boxes, each of which is inhabited by a different human being who has put locks on his doors and bolts on his windows to en sure privacy, yet is linked to his fellows by wires which pass overhead, by waves of sound which pour through the roof and speak aloud to him of battles and murders and strikes and revolu tions all over the world. (222) Woolfs city image contains individu alized housing connected by technological innovation (electrical wires), which both isolate and inform human beings. She searches for connection in the city and decides that th e bridge will solve that problem. She must provide an image that will convey her writing art and the tradition th at comes with it. Woolf further argues that while the modern writer cannot co mpletely renunciate all the traditional tools of the writing art, some t ools will also be lost: You cannot cross the narrow bridge of art carrying all its tools in your hands. Some you must leave behind or you will drop them in midstream or, what is worse, overbalance and be drowned yourself (228). The task of crossing the na rrow bridge of art is the task that Woolf sets for herself in her novels, beginning with Night and Day and continuing through Jacobs Room and The Years. Bridge imagery is also a key compon ent of Woolfs speech to the London/ National Society for Women's Service. Woolf begins with the pillar-box image in this
73 speech and continues the city im agery with the bridge. Woolf connects herself with Ethel Smyth as a bridge-builder. Smyth built bridges and thus made a way for those who came after her (Squier 172). Woolf further explains, We honor her not merely as a musician and a writer, but also as a blaster of rocks and the maker of bridges... (qtd. in Squier 172). Ethel Smyth is one bridgebuilder whose legacy has been extended by Woolf to The Years character Rose Pargiter. Rose has a choice to stay on the bridge or join the running water underneath. Sara and Rose discuss this choice, and later Rose stands on a Thames bridge and reviews her life. She decides to become a bridge-builder to other women and joins the suffrage movement Maggie, Saras sist er, asks about Rose and Saras walk to a suffrage meeting: A nd what did you do with Rose? said Maggie... Sara turned and glanced at her. Then she be gan to play again. S tood on the bridge and looked into the water, she hummed. Runni ng water; flowing water. May my bones turn to coral; and fish light their lanthorns; fish light their green lanthorns in my eyes. (186). Rose decides not to jo in the fishes in another brid ge passage that explains how Rose gained the psychological and social lib erty to do suffrage work (Squier 174). In the chapter titled Rose descends from an omnibus to walk across one of the Thames bridges and catches a glimpse of he rself reflected in the window of a tailors shop: It was a pity she thought... not to dress better, not to look nicer. Always reach-medowns, coats and skirts from Whiteleys. Bu t they saved time, and the years after all she was over forty made one care very l ittle what people thought (161). Rose continues to stand on the br idge and look down on the wate r: As she stood there, looking down at the water, some buried feeling began to arrange the stream into a pattern. The pattern was painful. She remembered how she had stood there on the night of a
74 certain engagement, crying; he r tears had fallen, her happiness, it seemed to her, had fallen... (161). As in her London speech, Woolf has connected a bridge image with water, falling into water and seeing a deep er pattern. For Rose the deeper pattern becomes her strategy to further womens suffrage, to forge a new pattern from her previous sad experience. She decides to beco me a bridge-builder, not a victim who falls from the bridge. Woolf connects Rose in s cenes about bridges to bridge-builders. Roses relationship to the real suffragist Ethel Smyt h is evident. Smyth was interested in practical dress, not fashion. She focused on her career, but for a year she focused on suffrage. Rose has decided to wear what suits her purpose, which is to further the suffrage cause. Earlier in the novel, her sister Eleanor thinks that Rose is handsome, but wished she dressed better. She was dressed in a green hairy coat and skirt with leather buttons, and she carried a shiny bag. She had be en holding meetings in the North (156). Roses green suit is one of the tricolors of the suffrage movement (green, purple and white). The other connection between Rose and bridges is Roses choice to be a survivor, not a victim. Unlike Woolf, who declared in Three Guineas that women who must decide between the private and public wo rlds are faced with a choice of evils. Each is bad. Had we not better plunge off the bridge into the river; give up the game; declare that the whole of human life is a mist ake and so end it? (74). Woolfs writing is provocative here, but also declar es her association of death with water, which eventually foretells her suicide by drowning. However, Et hel Smyth and Rose Pargiter want to live and do thrive well into their eighties.
75 Rose Pargiter also thrives on her inte rest in suffrage as shown in her 1908 participation in a successful Northumberl and suffrage campaign. This by-election is similar to the grassroots organizing of Suffrage Days and One Hand Tied Behind Us. Rose not only participated in the grassroots organizing mentioned but also in the street demonstrations and brick throwing of the Pankhurst campaign. Sylvia Pankhurst had this comment about Ethel Smyth, which also reminds one of Rose Pargiter: Individualized to the last point, she had in middle-age little about her that was feminine. Her f eatures were clean cut and well marked, neither manly or womanly; her thick hair drawn plainly aside, her speech clear in articu lation and incisive rather than melodious, with a racy wit. Wear ing a small mannish hat, battered and old, plain-cut country clothe s, she would don a tie of the brightest purple, with green, or some hideous purple cotton jacket, or other oddity in the W.S.P.U. colours she was so proud of. ... (Pankhurst 377-8) This description echoes Rose Pargiters green suit, brusque manner, and plain hairstyle. Rose is handsome but plainly dressed, even dowdy. Like Rose, Ethel tried to convince her family that her participation in demonstrations and brick throwing was a legitimate protest: I think that people do not understand we are rebels, and that our law-breaking acts are quite deliberat e political offenses. If I break a window for fun I am one sort of offender. If I break it as one of the few means open to me of calling attention to the fact
76 that I have a grievance, I am, however much anyone may disapprove of my action, a political not a criminal offender! The hunger-striking of these noble, sensitive, delicate women is a protest against their illegal treatme nt as criminals in prison. (St. John 154) This reference to bridge building is one that Woolf agreed to in Three Guineas. She used it as a footnote to express how Vict orian women were modest in taking credit for their achievements. Later suffragists, like Ethel Smyth and Rose Pargiter, accept credit for their achievements and even gl ory in getting awards Ethel Smyth was awarded the honorary Dame, and Rose receives a decoration. Both Ethel and Rose knew they were bridge-building upon the efforts of others, and this increased their passion for success. Throughout The Years Rose Pargiter is described as being a firebrand by her brother Martin and by her cousin Sara: Red Rose, tawny Rose...wild Rose, thorny Rose... (231). Later in the Present Day chapter, a voice cries out in a toast: Red Rose, thorny Rose, tawny Rose! Then the p etals were thrown, fan-shape, over the stout old woman who was sitting on the edge of her chair. She looked up in surprise. Petals had fallen on her. She brushed them wher e they had lodged upon the prominences of her person. Thank you! Thank You! she exclaime d (420). Rose is being showered with petals to honor her long career as a militant suffragist and for her bravery and persistence in suffrage battle. This description connects with a description that Virginia Woolf wrote in a letter to Ethel Smyth dated May 26, 1930.
77 Woolf uses musical terms, but the central image is of a burning rose: As it is, an image forms, in my mind; a quickset briar hedge, innumerable intricate and spiky and thorned; in the center burns a rose. Miracu lously, the rose is you; flushed pink, wearing pearls. The thorn hedge is the music; and I have to break my way through the violins, flutes, cymbals, voices to this re d burning centre... (Banks 266). Rose, red-faced, wearing a pink frock with a green stain is a childhood image that Martin recalls. Rose is not musical but her burning intensity of spir it, red, flushed face, and unfashionable dress are directly borro wed form Ethel Smyth and Woolfs own writing about Smyth. Even her name, Rose, i ndicates her connection as both women are described as the burning Rose. Therefore, Rose is a bridge to Ethel Smyth and to all rural and urban suffragists who fought for wo mens right to vote. Whether in Hannah Mitchells grassroots organizing or the Pankhur sts fight for Parlia mentary legislation, the spirits of Rose and Ethel guided the pa ssage of suffrage rights for women. The combination of a fiery, red rose amid the cente r of a thorny spirit of defense was the right combination for suffrage victory. Th erefore, this scene at the end of The Years is a complete tribute to Roses crusade for wome ns suffrage and to all the suffragists who fought and suffered for the cause. As Rose sai d, I think we gave em something to think about (156). Rose is the contin uing thread of suffrage throughout The Years, which covers the major years of the suffrage struggle. She is emblematic of womens rights in all areas freedom from the angel of the house, freedom from fashions dictates, and freedom to pursue a professional career. Fo llowing Woolfs dictum, Rose concentrates on her suffrage priorities and their practical results. She has no time for frivolities. Woolfs direct and subtle refe rence to Rose and Ethel give an added depth to Roses
78 character and create a tribute that honor s both women after suffrage rights for women were achieved. The legislation opened the opportunity, but Woolfs tribute in The Years kept the fires burning for both Roses. The bridge motif in The Years, Woolfs most historical novel, is linked to characters contemplating the themes or patterns in their lives, a concept that repeats throughout the novel. For example, Rose cons iders a pattern in th e water under one of the Thames bridges and decides she will make a useful pattern out of her life. Eleanor thinks of the possibility of a significant pattern when she is talking to Nicholas in the Present Day chapter: Does everything then come over again a litt le differently? She thought. If so, is there a pattern; a theme, recu rring like music; half-remembered, halfforeseen? ... a gigantic patte rn, momentarily perceptible? The thought gave her extreme pleasure: that there was a pattern. But who makes it? Who thinks it? (369). Woolf is forming the pattern as her char acters Rose and Eleanor contemplate the meaning of their lives. Chapter five of Sandra Holtons Suffrage Days titled Codes in Woolfs Writing, describes how the repetiti on of a pattern in images, colors, and language appears when Woolfs intent is re vealed. In the introduction to the same book, Holton states that historians have become increasingly interested in the kaleidoscopic nature of the materials of history, a multitude of fragments, forming patterns that shift with the movement of the view er (1). Holton further explains using the kaleidoscope metaphor: A shake of the kaleidoscope and di fferent aspects of th e historical pattern may move to the fore, altering our view of the relationship between the parts. Though the separate components of that pattern remain unchanged, the pattern itself may now look very different (1). This sort of reconfigur ation happens with Woolfs patterns of color,
79 image, and language. Woolfs strategy of shif ting the emphasis but still using the same tools will be addressed in chapter five.
80 Chapter Five Suffrage Tricolor Codes and Strategies in Night and Day, Jacobs Room and The Years In The Feminist Aesthetics of Virginia Woolf, Jane Goldman analyzes the textual practice of Woolfs tricolor usage in To the Lighthouse and The Waves. Goldmans work piqued my interest in tricolor us age as applied to Woolfs earlier novels Night and Day Jacob's Room and The Years. Clearly, from the inception of her fiction writing, Woolf planned to incorporate a tricolor code or hidden co lor pattern in her novels. Woolfs comments in her essay Craftsmansh ip explain how much she enjoyed creating a parallel universe where her ideas and char acters can coexist in interrelated harmony. Goldman created the term feminist iconographi c colourism to highlight Woolfs public and private feminist aesthetics. As Goldman explores these aesthetic s, Woolfs tricolor code becomes more obvious. Tric olor references appear throughout Night and Day Jacobs Room and The Years and set the stage for Woolfs later works. Just as Goldman suggests that Woolfs sister Vanessa pain ted with a postimpressi onist palette, I am suggesting that Woolf herself paints her word s with a suffrage palette. The purple, green, and white of suffrage appear consistently in Woolfs descriptions of landscapes, flowers, household objects, people, and clothing. The tricolors represent purple for loyalty, white for purity, and green for hope. Other imagery used in Woolfs code that is feminist related include the following: phantoms, ghosts, heraldic riders, monsters, and so forth. I have expanded Goldmans prismatics and imag ery to include color codes that are so persistent in the early novels that they cannot be ignored.
81 Woolf elevated the power of language and chose words selectively to construct her novels ideas, themes, and codes. She writes, [it] is a revelation of some order; it is a token of something real behi nd appearances; and I make it r eal by putting it into words ( MB 72). The words she uses are chosen according to her careful suffrage/feminist plan. As Woolf says in another quotation from her autobiographical collection Moments of Being about her methods of writing and their meaning: It is the rapture I get when in wri ting I seem to be discovering what belongs to what; making a scene come right; making a character come together. From this I reach what I might call a philosophy; at any rate it is a constant idea of mi ne; that behind the cotton wool is a hidden pattern; that we I mean all human beings --are connected with this; that the whole world is a work of art; that we are parts of the work of art. ... We are the words; we are the music; we are the things itself. (72) Woolf constructs her parallel world and intersects it with the reality of her fiction so that she is creating a vision for readers that is part fantasy, part politics (social reform, feminism, suffrage) that can be revealed sl owly to her readers and activated by their imaginations. This invites active participati on to expand the work of art that is Woolfs writing. Goldman asserts that if Woolfs art is to be considered feminist, we must seek to locate, as Moi herself indicates, the politic s of Woolfs writing preci sely in her textual practice (44). Goldman c ontinues with her own explan ation: Woolfs photological textual practices, apparent in both literary and painterly refe rences, may be more richly
82 understood at the figurative level of metaphor a nd allegory, and in relation to historical and political context (24). Just as pillarboxes and bridges as discussed in chapter four are indicators of Woolfs att itude toward womens rights and social reform, the tricolor images in Night and Day Jacobs Room and The Years connect Woolfs novels with suffrage and underscore her cons istent feminist aesthetic. Woolfs use of tricolors started with her earliest novels, although Goldmans discovery of the tricolor pattern references only To the Lighthouse and The Waves. Goldmans analysis of Woolfs use of tricolors begins by contrasti ng Woolf's essay The Sun and the Fish, published February 3, 1928, and Woolfs diary account from June 30, 1927. In her diary, Woolf writes: At the back of us were great blue spaces in the cloud. But now the colour was going out The clouds were turning pa le; a reddish black colour. Down in the valley it was an extraordinary sc ramble of red and black; there was the one light burning; all was cloud down there & very beautiful; so delicat ely tinted (3:143-44). However, in The Sun and the Fish essa y the color palette acquires a different spectrum: The blue turned to purple; the white became livid as at the approach of a violent storm. Pink faces went gree n, and it became colder than ever. ( CDB 196-197). Goldman is correct in claiming that the pale tte has changed, but it changed earlier than she documents. Since Night and Day (1920) and Jacobs Room (1922) were written earlier than the passages above, Woolfs use of suffrage tricolors purple, green, and white were incorporated earlier than the di ary entry and essay passage quoted above. Goldman observes: First we have blue, white and pink: and then th ese colours turn to purple, (livid) white, and green (68). [Si nce] purple, white and green have special
83 significance for suffragists, the use of these colors is a significant suffragist gesture (Goldman 68). Purple, green, and white began with the Womens Social and Political Union in the British suffrage movement to symboli ze loyalty, purity, and hope. Lisa Tickner explains in The Spectacle of Women: Imagery of the Suffrage Campaign 1907-1914 that the best known suffrage colo rs are the purple, white a nd green of the WSPU... White was purity, green for hope and purple for di gnity Purple was sometimes given as loyalty or courage and green as youth or regeneration (265). Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence, a militant suffrage leader describes her approach to this new language of feminist colors as languag e understood by every suffragist: Purple as everyone knows is the royal colour. It stands for the royal blood that flows in the veins of every suffragette, the instinct of free dom and dignity... white stands for purity in private and public life... green is the colour of hope and the emblem of spring (qtd. in Goldman 69). Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence selected regimental colors to legitimize the green fire of a new spring tide and the idea that feminists were repainting, reinventing, and restructuring th e world anew (Goldman 70). Woolf wanted to achieve this feminist restructuring of the world through her writing. Political colors were not new to Woolfs time, but political societies for womens suffrage were. Woolfs literary sym bolism and color motifs connected feminist colorism to the womens suffrage movement. While Woolf did continue to use descri ptive blues and pinks for flowers and clothes as well as green/purple/white for landscapes, nature, objects, people, and fantasies, her switch to a predominant purple/ green/white palette seems to be a conscious
84 decision to emphasize the suffrage tricolors. Her references to suffrage tricolors highlighted the cause in some circumstances and challenged its effectiveness in others. The challenge would involve matching a specif ic color in the tricolor palette to a particular object or characte r in order to underscore the tr icolor suffragist symbolism in operation. These color references will be cat egorized and discussed in order of their importance. Night and Day and The Years have suffragist characters, while Jacobs Room, which lacks a suffragist character (Jul ia Hedge is a feminist), also has many tricolor references. Katharine Hilbery of Night and Day is associated with purple. Several times Katharine is described as riding purple wa ves or holding a purple and white bouquet. These descriptions of Ka tharine are made by William Rodney, who is trying to understand his feelings for her. In one instan ce, he reviews his impressions about her as she enters a room: And then he could not s ee her come into a room without a sense of the flowing of robes, of the flowering of blo ssoms, of the purple waves of the sea, of all things that are lovely and mu table on the surface but still and passionate in their heart. (240). William is describing in detail what Katharines entrance into a room means to him. Katharine wears flowing robes like a goddess or Venus rising from the waves. She is an imposing figure full of dignity and implied sensuousness. The flowering of blossoms foreshadow Williams gift of a bouquet of purple and white flowers in a later passage. Finally, the purple waves of the sea bring together Woolfs favorite image water --with one of Woolfs fa vorite colors. (She liked to write with purple ink.) In Williams eyes, Katharine embodies the greatness of mythology plus the royal dignity and passion of the suffrage purple to become a paragon of beauty and desire. Katharines
85 New Woman beauty is described as natu ral allure accentuated by ancient mythology. Katharine does not behave in the traditional way that William expects, and because he does not understand how she can combine the ol d and the new, he is confused about his relationship with her. The rippling purple waves reflect Katharine s still and passionate personality. Woolfs description of Kathar ine through Williams eyes incorporates both Katharines present state and her desired New Woman status. (240) The purple and white bouquet William presen ts to Katharine is another suffrage color image that carries greater significan ce than is first apparent. The suffrage connection is obvious since the bouquet is purple and white. In this case, white for purity comes before purple for loyalty and passion. Williams Victorian gesture of bringing flowers to a woman as an apology or declarati on of love sets the t one for his conventional approach to romance: He carried in his hand an enormous and splendid bunch of white and purple flowers... he advanced straight to Katharine, and presen ted the flowers with the words: These are for you, Katharine (409 ). With this gesture, Woolf builds an entire chapter around the romantic courtship of Katharine and William. However, they have argued earlier, so Williams gift is an at tempt to confess his fault in their argument. William greeted her without obvious sign of gui lt, and explaining that he had a holiday, both he and Katharine seemed to take it for gr anted that his holiday would be celebrated with flowers and spent in Cheyne Walk (408) In truth, Katharine is more angered by the interference of her aunt Mrs. Milvain than she is with William. It seemed to her that the very flowers were contaminated, and Cassandras pocket-handkerchief, for Mrs. Milvain had used them for evid ence in her investigations (4 10). Mrs. Milvain has been spying on William and Cassandra, who is Ka tharines cousin, looking for proof that
86 William is unfaithful or that Cassandra is stealing William from Katharine. But Katharine, who is a little jealous of Cassandr a, is mostly angry with her aunt. William, who has been ostensibly rejected by Cassandr a, is jealous of Ralph, whom he suspects really loves Katharine. In this strange stat e, William looks at Katharine still holding his bouquet as further enhanced by the flowers: No doubt her beauty, intensified by emotion and enhanced by the flowers of bright color and strange shape which she carried wrought upon Rodney, and its share in bestow ing upon her the old romance (411). Throughout the chapter in Night and Day William Rodneys flowers continue to be mentioned. Katharine [clasping] the fl owers, stood upright and motionless (410). Williams flowers are clasped, dr opped, and strewn. There is none of the household duty of arranging and putting in wate r or finding a vase, as seen earlier in the chapter when Katharine arranged flowers in the drawing room. The implication by comparison is that Katharine is rejecting W illiams offer of apology and courtship as well as her aunts societal expectation that she should marry William. The flowers, themselves, Goldman notes, are bright color and strange-shaped like an impressionist or postimpressionist painting, reflecting Vanessa s influence on Woolfs aesthetics (410414). The symbolism of the white and purple fl owers shifts from its associations with traditional romance and apology to an unapologetic refutation of conventional courtship. The language of flowers has translated into a language of suffrage and the New Woman. Ralph also associates purple and whit e with Katharine. After learning of Katharines engagement to William, Ralph spen ds his days at the law office and his lunch hour at a park in the Strand: When he came back to his work after l unch he carried in his head a picture of the Strand, scattered with om nibuses, and of the purple shapes of leaves
87 pressed flat upon the ground (160) Ralph is so lost in thou ght that he might have been sitting in his own room, thinks Mary Datchet when she meets him in the Strand (160). Ralph is in his own world of depression, and the thought of losing Katharine makes him even gloomier. This episode is revisited wh en Ralph meets Mary again in Lincolns Inn Fields. In fact, Mary reminds him of the in cident: Dont you remember that morning in Lincolns Inn Fields? she asked (221). Ra lph does remember all too well: Yes, said Ralph, slackening his pace and remembering Ka tharine and her engagement, the purple leaves stamped into the path, the white pape r radiant under the electric light, and the hopelessness which seemed to surround all th ese things (221). Immediately, Ralph remembers his sadness and shame that Kath arine had spurned him and was now going to marry William. Ralph explains to Mary th at he was very unhappy, which she already knows but she does not know why. Some six weeks separated him from that afternoon when he had sat upon the embankment watching hi s visions dissolve in mist as the waters swam past and the sense of his desolation sti ll made him shiver (221). Ralph sees no pattern before him as he walks down the stre et by the river: for himself adrift far removed from control. The world had him at its mercy. He made no pattern out of the sights he saw (157). In this earlier scene, Ralph sat himself down, in spite of the chilly fog which obscured the farther bank and left its lights suspended upon a blank surface, upon the riverside seats, and let the tide of disillusionment sweep through him (157). Somehow, Katharine is a dark shape as presse d purple leaves against white paper. The electric lights on white paper are an image from Ralphs law office as he tries to work on his assignment. Even six weeks later, Ral ph is steeped in romantic depression; two symbolic colors of purple and white are s tamped on Ralph's hopeless brain. His only
88 hope seems to be the winter sun making a greenish pane in the west through thinning clouds (159). The only pattern he can see is a blank pattern upon dun-colored race of waters (158). The purple waves that Willia m sees have become stamped purple leaves crushed underfoot by pedestrians. Katharine s association with purpl e and passion is still there but not for Ralph. Each of the men is honoring Katharine in his own way. They understand that purple, green, and white sym bolize qualities of the New Woman that Katharine is struggling to become. Furthermor e, Ralphs staring bla nkly at the river is similar to the scene in The Years when Rose Pargiter is standing by the bridge over the Thames looking at the water below for a m eaningful pattern. She decides to dismiss romance and carry on with her suffrage work. Ralph decides to carry on with his law work and pursue his dream of writing the social history of rural England. Woolf is using suffrage tricolors and flower imagery to foreground womens rights without specifying the suffrage issue. In addition to Ralph and Williams images of nature, Mrs. Hilbery, Katharines mother also honors Katharine with flowers in the suffrage tricolor pattern. Mrs. Hilberys tr ibute to Katharine is an enormous bouquet of white and violet flowers from Shakespeares tomb. Mrs. Hilberys palm buds and green branches have similarities to Williams purple and white flowers, which are bright and strangely shaped. Ultimately, both large bundles of flowers are sorted and strewn on the floor as before a royal personage to walk upon. This colorful new walkway gives the regal Katharine a dramatic entrance and symbolizes the New Woman that she is becoming. Woolfs use of tricolors is a subve rsive approach to writing, which imprints the readers imagination with a feminist aesthetic or palette so that her suffrage
89 sympathies work on the reader subliminall y. Woolfs coded messages of suffrage and womens rights are repeated in Jacobs Room and The Years. Flowers in suffrage tricolor palettes are also associated with Katharines mother, Mrs. Hilbery, and with the upcoming marri age of Katharine and William. In the introduction to chapter XXIV, Woolf describes Mr s. Hilberys love of flowers: The first signs of spring, even such as make themselv es felt towards the mi ddle of February, not only produce little white and violet flowers in the more sheltered corners of woods and gardens, but bring to birth thoughts and desire s comparable to those faintly colored and sweetly scented petals in the minds of men and women (304). The description of flowers and vegetation evokes romance and fertility associated with the approaching marriage. At this point in time, Katharine and William are engaged and complications to their relationship have not unfolded. The white and violet flowers are signs of purity and loyalty, be that in marriage or as a su ffragist. The little white and violet flowers can also be seen as smaller versions of the large white and purple floral bouquet that William will later give to Katharine. The flowers have a softening effect as noted in the following Night and Day passage: Lives frozen by age, so far as the present is concerned, to a hard surface, which neither reflects or yields, at this season become soft and fluid, reflecting the shapes and colors of th e present, as well as the shapes and colors of the past (304). The softening effect of shapes and colors is a projection onto the landscape of the changing mi nds of men and women toward new roles for women and toward female empowerment that is the promise of suffrage. When Mrs. Hilbery brings Katharine flower s, she brings a material gift of her loyalty to her daughter, not an offering of apology as William has done. From
90 Shakespeares tomb! exclaimed Mrs. Hilb ery, dropping the entire mass upon the floor, with a gesture that seemed to indicate an act of dedication ( 479). Mrs. Hilberys bouquet is strewn on the floor just as Kath arine did with Williams bouquet. In the former case, the strewn flowers indicate Katharines questioning of marriage to William. Mrs. Hilberys strewn flowers, on the othe r hand, expresses sympathy with Katharines indecision and a desire for her daughter to marry Ralph. For Mrs. Hilbery, the most honest way to honor Katharines predicament is to bring flowers from Shakespeares tomb. Woolfs descriptions of city flowers in Night and Day also feature suffrage tricolors. Flowers of white, pu rple, and crimson (a more passi onate version of the pink in an earlier tricolor system and an American suffrage color) invite Londoners outdoors into the sensuousness of city life in the spring: London, in the first days of spri ng, has buds that open and flowers that suddenly shake their petals white, purple, or crimson in competition with the display in the garden beds, although these city flowers are merely so ma ny doors flung wide in Bond Street and the neighborhood, inviting you to look at a picture, or hear a symphony, or merely crowd and crush yourself among all sorts of vocal, excitable, brightly colored human beings. But, all the same it is no mean rival to the quieter process of vegetable florescence. (364) The bustling activity of Londons streets and neighborhoods is linked through color motifs and flower imagery to the social refo rms and role changes that occur as London
91 assumes a central place for suffrage activity a nd new legislation. The excitement of the city bazaar of London permeates into indoor ro oms just as Woolf insists that a womans entrance permeates the atmosphere of an interior room. This refers back to what Woolf said in A Room of Ones Own and Life as We Have Known It, that the barriers between interior and exterior space should be dissolved. In Night and Day, Woolf has expanded her perspe ctive into a blended image that supports suffrage. I assert that Wool f has created an image of a bright suffrage breeze with banners fluttering that unfurls victory over the barriers to suffrage reform. Mary Lowndes describes a banner as a thing to float in the wind, to flicker in the breeze, to flirt its colours for your pleasure... (Tickner 66). Lowndes also compares suffrage colors to flowers in her article On Ba nners and Banner-Making (Tickner 262-64). Banners, flowers, and suffrage come togeth er in an appropriate image for Woolf. The suffrage tricolor motif in Jacobs Room is embedded in the contrast between interior rooms and the city outside Jacobs window. Jacob is constantly looking through a window to the outside world, and that world is generally describe d in the colors of purple, green, and white. Is it possible that Woolf is implying that change, for Jacob, comes through outside influence represented by suffrage colors? Jacobs window view expands the walls of his room in the same way that Woolf talks a bout the expansion of womens creativity in A Room of Ones Own. While not conscious ly thinking how he can expand his life, Jacob is searching for form and meani ng. Woolf offers, He was a young man of substance (36). Yet, Woolf al so states how disagreeable a young man can be who insists I am what I am, and intend to be it, for which there will be no form in the world unless Jacob makes one for himself (36).
92 Another reference to suffrage tricolors a ppears in Woolfs de scription of Kings Chapel window: An inclined plane of light comes accurately through each window, purple, yellow even in its most diffused dust, while, where it breaks upon stone, is softly chalked red, yellow, and purple. Neither snow nor greenery, winter nor summer, has power over the old stained glass (32). Th is description contains a combination of suffrage colors from various suffrage organi zations. Red, yellow (gold), purple, green, and white are all listed in c onnection with light, dust, stone, snow, or greenery. Woolf then questions But this serv ice in Kings College Chapel why not allow women to take part in it? (32). Previous to this question, Woolf has described a tree with a lantern set next to it and insects gathering around the light of the lantern. Insects or moths drawn to a light or flame is a favorite image of W oolfs and will be repeated in connection to Jacobs love of butterflies. The description of the window the narrators question, and the image of insects drawn to light all work together setting the stage for a reference to women being allowed in Kings College Chapel. Just as the stained-glass window and lantern light are a guiding light for women, Woolf creates a woodland forest scenario which, when seen metaphorically, may be an illustration of a suffrage meeting or de monstration. Supporters gather like moths to a guiding light provided by the charisma tic Emmeline Pankhurst, agitator for suffrage and militant demonstrations: One gets tired of watching them, as they amble round the lantern and blindly tap as if for admittance, one large toad being the most besotted of any and shouldering hi s way through the rest. Ah, but whats that? A terrifying volley of pistol-shots rings out cracks
93 sharply; ripples spread silen ce laps smooth over sound. A tree a tree has fallen, a sort of death in the forest. After that, the wind in the trees sounds melancholy. (32) I propose that the insects in this passage represent suffragists gathering and their supporters. The toad could be a policeman trying to disperse the crowd with pistol shots. The crowd is dispersed, or arrests are made, a nd then the streets are quiet. The placement of this, most likely, metaphoric forest scene between a description of stained glass in suffrage colors and a rhetorical question about womens entrance into the college creates a layering effect of suffrage strategies, narra tive symbols, and reform concerns. These passages from Jacobs Room are set during a time in which women were not admitted to Cambridge or its chapel and were being arre sted and abused for their participation in suffrage demonstrations. Woolf skillfully manages to challenge patriarchal English institutions, like Cambridge, and to questi on the effectiveness of militant suffrage demonstrations while avoiding overtly writing about female suffrage or womens rights. Another example of subliminal suffrage coding occurs in Woolfs tricolor descriptions of objects in lists. In Jacobs Room Woolf color catalogs bicycles and lilacs as green, white, and yellow. Nevilles Court is described in terms of white and green: The feathery white moon never let the sky grow dark; all night the chestnuts blossoms were white in the green; dim was the cow-parsley in the meadows. ... It will be quite dark in Nevilles Court long before midni ght, only the pillars opposite will always be white, and the fountains. A curious effect th e gate has, like lace upon pale green (38). The constant play of suffrage white and green highlight the overla y of suffrage protest and the resistance of British institutions to womens rights. The obj ects in Jacobs room
94 in Nevilles Court -the sparse furniture, yellow flags in a jar, st ationery with crests, coats of arms, and great books of English hi story are dry, stale remnants of English patriarchy and orthodoxy. Jacob is both surr ounded by a static Cambridge world inside his room and can see outside to an intrig uing, emerging one, whose significance he does not understand. Woolfs description of J acob Flanderss fascinati on with butterflies becomes another opportunity to code suffrage tricol ors into the overridi ng color impressions of Jacobs Room. Young Jacob is attracted to the colors of the butterflie s as he tries to capture them: The pale clouded yellows had pelted over the moor; they had zigzagged across the purple clover. The fritillaries flaunted along the hedgerows. The blues settled on little bones ly ing on the turf with the sun beating on them, a nd the painted ladies and the peacocks feasted upon bloody entrails dropped by a hawk. Miles away from home, in a hollow among teasles beneath a ruin, he had found the commas. He had seen a white admiral circling higher and higher round an oak tree, but he had never caught it. An old cottage woman living alone, high up, had told him of a purple butterfly came every summer to her garden. (24) The brief life of Jacobs butterf lies and the moth that Rebecca catches in the kitchen are reminders by Woolf of the possibility of death. This hint of death associated with Jacob may foreshadow his own fate as a soldier. Butterflies and moths are symbols of transformation both for Jacob individually and for the suffrage movement. Jacobs life is
95 as ephemeral and elusive as a butterfly; nevertheless, the suffrage tricolors are persistently present and may offer hope in the midst of lifes transience. Jacobs life, from its early beginnings, his personality, and his environs are described with an air of fantasy and timele ssness. A description of Jacob's room in Nevilles Court repeats an image of Jacob as a phantom, an ethereal spirit that breathes through the empty room, just wel ling the curtain; the flowers in the jar shift. One fibre in the wicker arm-chair creaks, though no one sits there (39). Jacob is like the moth that Woolf writes about much later in 1942. In he r famous essay The Death of the Moth, Woolf concentrates on a struggling moth and how it tries to circumscribe its life and retain its dignity while butting up agains t a windowpane. Woolf writes of the awkwardness of the moths struggle and how am azed she was at the sight of its deformity humped and bossed and garnished and cumbered so that it has to move with the greatest circumspection and dignity (360). Jacobs struggles to find meaning in his short life are fleeting like the butterflies, yet also doomed lik e the moth. The suffrage tricolors of the butterflies pay tribute to the energy and th e struggles of the suffrage movement. Woolfs sense of foreboding and promise in her nature descriptions, specifically in Night and Day and Jacobs Room, expresses both the darkne ss of looming war and the brilliance of spring full-blown in suffrage tricolors. Woolf s descriptions of natural and city-grown flowers in Night and Day are used at times to reference preparations for World War I and at other times to highlight the promise of the New Woman and a new society. The blustery wind and rain of Jacobs Room forecasts Jacobs fate as a soldier. Woolf is especially poetic and patriotic when she describes the seawater of Scilly Isles in terms of purple, green, and white:
96 The Scilly Isles were turning bl uish; and suddenly blue, purple, and green flushed the sea; it left it grey; struck a stripe which vanished; but when Jacob had got his shirt over his head the whole floor of the waves was blue and white, rippling and crisp, though now and again a broad purple mark appeared, like a bruise, or there floated an entire emerald tinged with yellow. (48) There is a sense of physical trauma in comparing the color of the sea to a bruise. Jacob is swimming in the sea and his interaction with na ture is described in suffrage tricolors. Although Timmy rescues Jacob, there is a hint of Jacobs fate with the purple bruise that appears in the water just before he plunge s. The combination of tricolor water and a purple bruise associate Jacob with the suffrage struggle and political war that is coming. Even when Jacob is on shore, Woolf c ontinues to mention su ffrage colors: You could smell violets, or if violets were impossible in July, th ey must grow something very pungent on the mainland then (48). There are also white cottage and the white sand bays (48-49). Woolf builds on the sense of foreboding in the sea when she asks about Jacobs gloom: What can this sorrow be? Then she uses the rhetorical technique of answering her own question: It is brewed by the earth itself. It comes from the houses on the coast. We star t transparent, and then the cloud thickens. All history backs our pane of glass. To escape is vain (49). Woolf refutes her own answer by stating that whether this is the right inte rpretation of Jacob's gloom ... it is impossible to say.... No matter. There are things that can't be said. Let's shake it off (49). But Woolf does not shake it off since the foreboding of war and her use of tricolor references are embedded in the novels.
97 Another example of nature and water imag ery associated with suffrage tricolors occurs in a Night and Day scene in which Mrs. Hilber y shares with her daughter Katharine a romantic memory of her own c ourtship. Mrs. Hilbery remembers when she and her soon-to-be husband were rowing in a boat out to reach a ship at night: The sun had set and the moon was rising over our heads. There were lovely silver lights upon the waves and three green lights upon the steamer in the middle of bay.... It was life, it was death. The great sea was around us. I was th e voyage forever and ever (483). Woolf evokes the passage of time down a long corridor of days, and the ancient fairy-tale fell roundly and harmoniously upon Katharines ea rs (483). Katharine envisions her mothers words: Yes, there was the enorm ous space of the sea; there were the three green lights upon the steamer.... And so voyagi ng over the green and purple waters, ... she looked admiringly at her mother, that an cient voyager (483). In these passages the suffrage tricolors are linked with water im agery and fantasy, both of which seem to soften the passage of time or wash the pr esent view, like an impressionist watercolor. Nature imagery described with suffrage tr icolors to evoke moods related to the passage of time is also a na rrative technique Woolf uses in The Years. As in Jacobs Room and Night and Day, nature descriptions tend to convey both foreboding and promise The uncertainties of the war and th e familys fortune are combined with the hopes contained in suffrage referen ces. Woolf opens each chapter of The Years with a nature description, in particular the season and the weather in London. The first chapter, , emphasizes the variability of spring, especially in London: It was an uncertain spring. The weather perpetually changing, sent clouds of blue and of purple flying over the land.... But in April such weather was to be expected (3). This sense of
98 apprehensiveness is repeated in Woolfs desc ription of street musicians who doled out their frail and for the most part melancholy pipe of sound, [that] was echoed, or parodied here in the trees of Hyde Pa rk, here in St. Jamess by the twitter of sparrows and the sudden outbursts of the amorous but intermittent thrush (3). Woolfs nature descriptions in The Years provide a background for her hidden interest in suffrage. James Naremores well-known essay Nature and History in The Years states that Woolf refused to use a symmetrical pattern; even the nature descriptions which preface each chapter ar e not given a sequential rhythm (246). However, he does not spotlight Woolfs suffrage agenda. I contend that a continuing thread or pattern of suffrage colors and overtones is inseparable from her nature descriptions. Naremore also insists that Wool fs political agenda is indirect, stating as follows: Even the narrator of the book, that ghostly persona so common to Virginia Woolfs work, tries to dir ect attention away from social or political facts. The evocative but generalized descriptions of landscape at the opening of each chapter suggest nature had transcended both history and th e unsatisfactory conditions of individual lives, the weather becomi ng more significant than social change. (249) In Naremores terms, Woolfs landscape and weat her descriptions are an attempt to give the novel a firm grounding in what [he describes as] the eternal natura l process (249). However, as I have shown, Woolfs pattern of suffrage tricolors in descriptions of weather do, in fact, evoke a clim ate of political and social change. There is an organizing
99 thread of social change and history associated with the nature and weather descriptions in The Years, and it is underscored by Woolfs repetition of suffrage tricolors. While Naremores critical analysis con centrates on nature and history, but not specifically on suffrage, I contend that Woolfs concentratio n is on suffrage tricolors to suggest suffrage history, not history and nature in genera l. In Woolfs perspective suffrage history is suggested in the w eather description in chapter of The Years. Woolfs suffrage element of change is presen t in her use of blue and purple to describe the winds of change. Similarly, the nature description in the opening chapter , eight years before suffrage passes, sets the mood for promise and struggle. The natural cycle of spring weather is turn ing towards fall harvest: In th e country it was an ordinary day enough; one of the long reel of days that turned as the years passed from green to orange; from grass to harvest. It was neit her hot nor cold, an E nglish spring day, bright enough, but a purple cloud behind the hill might mean rain. The grasses rippled with shadow, and then sunlight (160). This descri ption of a spring day hints of the coming fall with the colors green to orange; from gr ass to harvest. The political harvest cycle in this chapter highlights Rose Pargit ers personal and political fortunes. In the chapter , Rose, a suffragist w hose character is described in purples, whites, and blues, looks for a pattern in th e swirl of the Thames River. Maggie, her sister, arranges flowers that are blue, white and purple, specifically adding a purple flower to her arrangement. Woolfs opening de scription of nature fo r includes a purple cloud behind a hill that might mean rain (160). The purple cloud portending rain might mean obstacles before victory when viewed as part of Woolfs hidden suffrage palette.
100 Another example of suffrage tricolors in The Years appears in the chapter titled Present Day. North Pargiter dreams of multicolored flowers: And were they flowers the hands held? Or mountains? Blue mountains with violet shadows? Then petals fell, pink, yellow, white, with violet shadows, the pe tals fell. They fall and fall and cover all, he murmured (424). Many predominant colors of suffrage societies are listed in this passage. The colored petals seem to fa ll one by one smothering, or maybe conquering, suffrage reform. Blue mountains with vi olet shadow that echo the purple cloud behind a hill combine the weat her and nature with a suffrage message. The rest of North's dream describes more flower arra nging or metaphorical suffrage symbols, especially as associated with his cousin Ro se: The hands went on picking up flower after flower; that was a white rose; that was a yellow rose; that was a rose with violet valleys in its petals. There they hung, many folded, many coloured, drooping over the rim of the bowl. And the petals fell. There they la y, violet and yellow... (424). Again, the many suffrage color combinations are repeated as they come together many folded, many coloured spilling over the flower bowl. The suffrage flowers have come together to achieve suffrage victory, and then they fall apart just as the suffrage organizations fell apart after the 1918 Suffrage Reform Bill was passed. Suffrage colors used in descriptions of nature and flowers are so pervasive in The Years that it is impossible to cite all of them; however, one mo re example will suffice to support the pattern. The chapte r opens with the following landscape and weather description: The sun was rising. Very slowly it came up over the horizon shaking out light. But the sky was so vast, so cloudless, that to fill
101 it with light took time. Very gr adually the clouds turned blue; leaves on forest trees sparked; down below a flower shone.... Slowly the world emerged from darkness. The sea became like the skin of an innumerable scaled fi sh, glittering gold. Here in the South of France the furrowed vine yards caught the light; the little vines turned purple and yellow; and the sun coming through the slats of the blinds stripe d the white walls. (192) The passage invokes Woolfs essay The Sun and the Fish and the solar eclipse of 1927 that Jane Goldman explores together in her book The Feminist Aest hetics of Virginia Woolf: Modernism, Post-impressionism, and the Politics of the Visual. The sun and the coming of light out of darkness spreading life to the landscape below are central images in Woolfs writing. The sun connects with fi sh when it becomes like the skin of an innumerable scaled fish, glittering gold. Gold or yellow is an important color among suffrage groups, as is purple. The nature de scription closes with the hopeful promise of vineyard grapes that are purple and yellow with the sun causing shadow stripes on the white walls. The embedded tricolor pale tte in Woolfs favorite descriptive images simultaneously hides and reveals the authors political agenda. Fantasy and Fairy Tales: Influences of Lewis Carroll and Edmund Spenser Woolf connects themes of suffrage, suffr age colors, the New Woman, and a new marriage contract through her use of fantasy and romantic fairy tales. These elements of fantasy, fairy tale, and possibly allegory poi nt to the probable influences of British
102 authors Lewis Carroll and Edmund Spenser on Woolf, who wrote a short essay on each author, respectively. Spenser uses the romantic fairy tale as a central element in The Faery Queen ; in a similar manner, Carroll uses fantasy and imagin ation in his Alice st ories. Woolf mixes the romantic fairy tale with the parallel element of fantasy in Night and Day and Jacobs Room using suffrage colors. Sea scenes referenc ed previously describing Mrs. Hilberys courtship ( Night and Day) and Jacobs swim around the Scilly Isles ( Jacobs Room ) combine suffrage colors with fantasy. Moreover, in Night and Day, Katharine Hilbery imagines her marriage in full romantic bloom: Easily, and without correction by reason, her imagination made pictures superb backgrounds casti ng a rich though phantom light upon the facts in the foreground. Sp lendid as the waters that drop with resounding thunder from hi gh ledges of rock, and plunge downwards into the blue depths of night, was the presence of love she dreamt, drawing into it every drop of the force of life, and dashing them all asunder in the superb catastrophe in which everything was surrendered, and no thing might be reclaimed. The man, too, was some magnanimous he ro, riding a great horse by the shore of the sea. They rode th rough forests together, they galloped by the rim of the sea. (107) This dream of an all-encompassing romance and marriage is the traditional view of marriage that Katharine has eulogized. All th e classic elements of a fairy-tale marriage are here: the blue depths of night and water, the seashor e and forest and the anonymous
103 white knight riding an heraldic horse. The possibility of a new marriage of independent souls seems remote. However, Katharine Hilbery and Ralph Denham will forge a new kind of marriage relationship where they can support each other and encourage their individual interests. This is the kind of new marriage for which a New Woman can hope. Together, the modern couple can ride the mythic, heraldic horse, a symbol of suffrage destiny, into a new future. In the midst of their engagement reverie, Woolf inserts the fantasy of a hunchback character into Ralphs imagining: Perhaps the fantastic notion that [the anonymous lady] was a little black hunchback provided with a steel knife, which she would plunge into Katharines heart, appeared to Ralph more pr obably than another, and he pushed first into the dining-room to avert the blow (494). Woolf may be using the hunchback figure as an allegorical metaphor for despai r. In an essay about Spensers The Faery Queen, Woolf said the figure of Despair is an allegory ( CE 1). The novelist uses allegory; that is to say, when he wishes to expound his characters, he makes them think; Spenser impersonated his psychology. Thus if the novelist now wished to convey his heros gloom, he would tell us his thoughts; Spenser created a figure called De spair (16). With this background of despair, the romance of Ka tharine and Ralph is seen in a new light. The loneliness they have both felt may now have a cure, but the prospect of the future, now that the strength of [Ralphs] passion wa s revealed to him, appalled him (384). Ralph has thought that without Katharine he would have a life from which the chief good was knowingly and for ever excluded (384). However, now that their engagement is imminent, the old despair of the hunchback comes back to Ralph. The sharp image of
104 a hunchback and a steel blade create an image of danger and uncertainty that is revealed in an enchanted light Allegory and fantasy elements in Jacobs Room are another example of the influences of Spenser and Carroll on Woolfs novel writing. Jacob travels, which can be seen as an allegorical journey, seemingly floating through England and Greece and even through his experiences of World War I, all the while mee ting different people who may be symbols of Cambridge, romance, and clas sical learning. He succumbs to temptation with Florinda and Mrs. Wentworth, as does the Red Knight in Spensers epic, but there is very little change in Jacob s character. He remains stereotyped in how he thinks about and treats women. A particularly fantastic element with suffragist implications in Night and Day is the concept of an enchanted region. Accord ing to Woolf, an enchanted region gives its inhabitants such intense and deep communicatio n ability that verbal language is no longer necessary. This region is both magical and at the same time attainable. At the close of Night and Day Katharine and Ralph experience the bl ending of their individual identities and do not require speech: They had entered the enchanted re gion. She might speak to him, but with that strange tremor in his voice, those eyes blindly adoring, whom did he answer? What woman did he see? And where was she walking, and who was her companion? Moments, fragments, a second of vision, and th en the flying waters, the winds dissipating and dissolving; then, too, the recollection from chaos,
105 the return of security, the earth firm superb and brilliant in the sun. (507) Woolfs focus on fragmentation and coalescence, on chaos and order, is condensed in the enchanted region and covered w ith an aura of brillia nt light. There is also an element of spoof in the vagueness of this fairy-tale region and the emphatic rejection of verbal speech. Coming from an author whose joy in words is almost unparalleled, this nonverbal spac e is surprising; nevertheless the enchanted region is a goal of Woolfs vision of a new marriage and a desirable outcome of female equality and social reforms. Night and Day has scenes referencing sleeping and dreaming that are reminiscent of Lewis Carrolls well-known fantasies Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. In a 1939 essay about Carroll, Woolf assert s that Carrolls world is the world of sleep; dreams come; the white rabbit, the walr us, and the carpenter, one after another, turning and changing one into the other, they come skippi ng and leaping across the mind ( CE 1:255). Katharine and Ralph and William e xperience each other within dream-like images. These fleeting phantom images, appe ar, change into something else, and then vanish, as occurs in Carrolls writings. Th e fairy-tale aspect of their fancies also resembles the behavior of Carrolls characters : Katharine forgets her oyster package, she as well as Mrs. Hilbery serve tea with Kath arines mind on other ideas, and her mother appears a bit dizzy about who the guests are a nd what conversation to introduce. In fact, Katharine looks at her mother anew when sh e suggests that asking Ralph to lunch could solve the romance problems:
106 Katharine looked at her as if, indeed, she were some magician. Once more she felt that instead of being a grown woman, used to advise and command, sh e was only a foot or two raised above the long grass and the little flowers and entirely dependent upon the figure of indefinite size, whose head went up into the sky, whose hand was in her, for guidance. (485) Katharine is feeling her way to her own future world through the magic of feeling a child again with her mother. Katharine has not eaten a two-sided mush room, like Carrolls Alice, but she feels that she is changing size just the same. She is becoming a New Woman with the option of cr eating a new marriage based on an imaginative new vision of husbands and wives. Lewis Carrolls influence on Woolfs use of fantasy is seen in her use of fantasy animals in Night and Day and imaginary rabbits in Lappin and Lapinova. For Katharine and Ralph the fantasy features riding a heraldic horse of loneliness and experiencing the relief and freedom of shari ng the burden of lonelin ess. Later in the novel, Katharine speaks of riding a swervi ng monster (omnibus) through the streets of London with Ralph (502). For Ernest and Ro salind in Lappin and Lapinova the fantasy animals are two rabbits. Junko Setogawa provi des a Japanese perspective for a fantasy approach to engagement and marriage in his essay Another Night and Day: An Essay on Lappin and Lapinova. Setogawa asserts th at both couples, Kath arine and Ralph as well as Ernest and Rosalind, shared an animal fantasy in common and that they communicated their desires th rough the shared fantasy.
107 The shared animal fantasy serves to maintain both couples relationships. Katharine and Ralph ride a monster horse together; Ernest and Rosalind playact a projected fantasy of two rabbits named King Lappin and Queen Lapinova. Ernest twitches his nose like a rabbit when he is th inking; as a result, rabbits become the couples fantasy animal. Ernest and Rosalind feel they are pa rtners in an exclusive and equal partnership. However, on the day Erne st refuses to participate and actually declares that Lapinova, Rosalinds fantasy ra bbit, has been caught and killed in a trap, Rosalind loses her fantasy safety va lve and the marriage falls apart. Katharine and Ralph remain together afte r animal fantasy vanishes since it has served the purpose of bringing them together Their relationship is truly an enchanted region where words are not necessary. Their engagement fantasy involves more than an animal; it includes giving up solitude but not integrity because they share each others ideas and hopes. After comparing the use of fantasy in Woolfs short story Lappin and Lapinova to the use of fantasy in Night and Day, Setogawa asserts that both couples have a shared animal fantasy, but one fantasy is more successful than the other. Setogawas analysis shows how themes in Woolfs writing are revisited in her later works and that Woolf is constantly interrogating engagement and marriage in terms of independence for women. In fact, Woolf noted in her diary on 22 November that she was rehashing Lappin and Lapinova, a story written I think at Asheman 20 years ago or more: when I was writing Night and Day perhaps ( 5: 200). This means that Woolf was thinking of Carroll bot h before and after Night and Day and that the short story Lappin and Lapinova and the novel Night and Day were conceived about the same time, even though Night and Day was published in 1920 and Lapin and Lapinova was published in
108 London and New York in Harpers Bazaar in 1939. Woolfs essay Lewis Carroll was written in January 1939 ( CE 1). These publication dates imply that Woolf was pondering fantasy and Carroll for over twenty years. There are additional narrative elements th at Woolf and Carroll shared: a concern with the safety of little girls and th e inclusion of tea party scenes. In Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, Carroll explores the mind and imagination of a little girl named Alice. In The Years, Woolf follows Rose Pargiter throughout her life, describing her courage and her use of imagination to c ope with threatening events. When Rose sneaks out of the house at night to go to Laml eys toy store alone, she boosts her courage by imagining herself on an evening ride. More importantly, her imagination assists her in coping with the terror sh e feels following a subsequent enco unter at the pillar-box with a stranger who is a sexual exhibitionist. Alice, also a vulnerable innoc ent, has a dangerous fall down a deep, dark hole while pursuing a white rabbit; her adventures become increasingly complicated as she wanders in her wonderland. W onderland is a term Woolf uses to describe Mary Datchets feelings about li ving in London and being at the center of a radiant hub of social activity, but since Mary is an adult, her description of London as wonderland sounds more exciting than threatening. Child safety and street danger are also an aspect of Jacobs Room as is illustrated in an incident in which a young girl is frightened by a speeding van while trying to mail a letter at the pillar-box. (This scene was discussed in gr eater detail in chapter two.) Tea parties are central to both of Lewis Carrolls novels and an aspect of British childhood play. Woolf uses a tea party setti ng to describe the scene in which Ralph Denham first meets Katharine Hilbery in Night and Day. As occurs in Alice in
109 Wonderland the tea party orients the newcomer into the inner world of family and friends and to their preferred customs. A stranger to an established group, Ralph feels awkward and at the same time remote or sepa rated from the outside street: At the same time, it seemed to Mr. Denham as if a thousand softly padded doors had closed between him and the street outside. A fine mist, th e etherealized essence of the fog, hung visibly in the wide and rather empty space of the drawing-room, all silver where the candles grouped on the tea-table, and ruddy again in the firelight (10). The outside street is a world apart from the Hilberys drawing room wh ere an air of enchantment or blue grains of mist predominate (10). Using only a fi fth of her mind, Katharine calmly pours tea. She is thinking about Ralph and how she mi ght bring him into conversation: She observed that he was compressing his teacup, so that there was danger lest the thin china might cave inwards (11). The couple is alr eady in an enchanted region even though they have just been introduced. While Mrs. Hilb ery presides over tea conversation, Ralph and Katharine begin thei r relationship. Both Carroll and Woolfs tea party scenes satirize British social customs, especially with how the tea-party custom manages to emba rrass the participants, whether invited or not. The March Hare, the Door Mouse, and the Mad Hatter of Carrolls famous Mad Tea Party invent their own e tiquette, which includes changing seats and dishes as they please. Their topics of teatime conversation are so very vague that anything Alice adds is deemed not appropriate Ralph Denham is in a similar position as he tries to understand the Hilberys, especially Katharine. Mrs. H ilberys banter about Manchester is inaccessible to him and hi s role as outsider or even intruder goes unchallenged.
110 British etiquette is a favorite target for Woolf. Woolf extends her exploration of British customs from the tea party to scenes describing dinner parties. Several dinner gatherings and dinner parties are developed in Jacobs Room. One of the most significant dinners is one attended by Clara Durant, Mrs. Durant, Timothy Durant, and Jacob Flanders. Jacob feels constrained by his dinner jacket after he has been sailing for six days with Timothy. The dinner table is se t with formal glassware and curved silver forks. The cutlets as the main entree are d ecorated with pink frills, but yesterday he had gnawed ham from the bone! (57). Jacobs female dining partners appear to him as hazy, transparent shapes of yellow and blue. Behind them, again, was the grey-green garden, and among the pear-shaped leaves the escallonia fishing-boats seemed caught and suspended (57). The atmosphe re is unreal and fantastic to Jacob as he feels himself suspended in time while at the dinner table. The dinner would ne ver end, Jacob thought, and he did not wish it to end... (57). The whole dinner -its rigid etiquette, the unfamiliar formal setting, and the impressionistic sh apes of the people and garden becomes crystallized in Jacobs mind. The Years provides another example of a London dinner party scene that conveys strangeness and discomfort. North Pargiter feels strange following his return to London after several years of living in Africa. Sara Pargiter remarks: How strange it must be, she resumed, coming back after all these ye ars as if youd dropped from the clouds in an aeroplane. She pointed to the table as if that were th e field in which he had landed. On to an unknown land, said North. He fe lt an outsider (318). When North was in Africa, it was silent and hot, a nd he was lonely, so he wrote to Sara. However, now that he is back and seated with her eating dinne r in London, he feels more like a stranger than
111 he did in Africa. The once-familiar London now appears as a long-ago memory. Things and people have changed, and yet the landscap e is the same. North is having a difficult time reconnecting. Woolfs fantasy-laden de scriptions of the colors, shapes, and behaviors that are conjured up during the dinne r scene express North s cultural alienation and social discomfort. The influences of Carroll and Spenser are revealed in ways consistent with Woolfs feminist aesthe tic and suffrage agenda. There is an overriding air of fantasy and unreality in Woolfs three early novels, Night and Day, Jacobs Room and The Years. Whether the overarching theme is the passage of time as in The Years, or the unending struggle to contro l ones life in Night and Day or the aimlessness of a young mans life in Jacobs Room these novels each contain objective facts that shift when seen through the subjective fantasies of the characters. In Woolfs case, the objective narrator is Woolfs ghostly persona as Naremore de scribes it in Nat ure and History in The Years (249). Carrolls Alice and Spensers Red Kni ght experience shifting perspectives due to unexpected circumstances and meddling ch aracters. Alice and the Red Knight experience similar discomfort to Woolfs prot agonists. It seems appropriate that she utilized her literary interest in fantasy a nd allegory as part of her experiment with radically changing the form and language of the British novel.
112 Chapter Six Conclusion In this final chapter, I shall combine and condense the themes of the suffrage agenda, tricolors, and the New Woman. The concept of the New Woman ties all of the suffrage threads together, whether womans suffrage, social construction of womens identities, economic independence for women, or feminist aesthetics: all these themes were a part of the womans suffrage movement. Each of these ideas adds a thread to the New Woman knot and makes it complete. As an introduction to this conclusion, I will discuss in detail the New Woman concept, beginning with Lisa Tickner's examination of The Spectacle of Women: The Imagery of th e Suffrage Campaign 1907-14. I will continue this detailed introduction of the New Woman identity with the social identity construction ideas of feminists Simone de Beauvoir and Sonia Delaunay. Lisa Tickner in her thoughtful study of the imagery of the suffrage campaign, 1907-1914, mentions the important concept of the Modern Woman, or the New Woman. In reference to novelists, Tickner writes: t here are two major factors which made the New Woman irresistible to nove lists: explicit sexuality a nd personal integrity (183). Furthermore, Tickner asserts, the minor New Woman novelists drew on feminist debates about marriage, divorce, sexuality and b achelor motherhood (183). In general, suffragists tried to marginalize the more unconventional demands of the New Woman to make suffrage more acceptable (183). Ti ckner emphasizes that authors like Hardy, Meredith, and Gissing displayed feminine sexuality more seriously and validated the
113 topic to a more discerning reader. Virginia Woolf expanded on this exploration with her unique feminine sensibility. The second factor that made the New Woman irresistible for novelists, according to Tickner, was that the personal integrity of the New Woman was a matter of principle, but one expressed in a personal rebellion that was outside any organi zation and allied to no political or reforming ends (184). This aligned the New Woman with the traditional English novel and its drama of love, marriag e, and family. However, the New Woman was unconventional, which made her a ba d role model for the 1907-1914 suffrage campaign. The ideal suffragist model would be a responsible and respectable woman. For these reasons, the New Woman was a perf ect target for Virginia Woolf. Her heroines, Katherine Hilbery and Mary Datchet in Night and Day, along with Rose Pargiter in The Years, are examples of the New Woman interpreting new roles for women in the early twentieth century. Katharine H ilbery tries with Ralph Denham to create a new marriage with equal respons ibilities and equal participation as individuals. Mary Datchet chose a career promoting political reform as a suffragist or socialist. Rose Pargiter resembled a militant version of the New Woman, one who scorns traditional female artifice in favor of social progress, social equality, a nd personal integrity. Woolfs heroines were the kind of New Wome n that American journalist and suffragist Rheta Childe Dorr described, women who wanted to belong to the human race, not to the ladies aid society to the human race (184). Lisa Tickner defends the suffragists as women in favor of the development of womens capacities and opposed to the doctrinaire definition of what these might be; they were against submissiveness, frivolity, and fa shion in so far as it perpetuated a passive
114 and narcissistic femininity; and they were in favour of health, activity, and social and economic independence (184). Woolf examines all of these female traits in her in characterizations of Katharine Hilbery, Mary Da tchet, and Rose Pargit er. Indeed, Rose is the embodiment of the fashionand frivolity-scorning suffragist. Katharine wears lovely clothing but is indiffe rent to her own striking beaut y. Mary Datchet appreciates Katharines fashion and luxury, but she also kno ws that her own career path will focus on practical social reform, not beautiful dresse s. Rose Pargiter, on the other hand, refuses beauty, fashion, and marriage in favor of a suffrage and social reform agenda. The aspect of the New Woman as interpreting new roles for women is developed in Simone de Beauvoirs literary criticism. Ruth Robbins explores images of women in criticism in a chapte r of her excellent book Literary Feminisms. There she quotes Simone de Beauvoirs description of how a woman assumes a new identity and uses artifice in an attempt to disguise her basic commonality with man and become an ideal, exotic, and erotic object: Woman becomes plant, panther, diamond, mother-of-pearl, by blending flowers, furs, jewels, shells, feathers, with her body; she perfumes herself to spread an aroma of the lily and the rose. But feathers, silk, pearls and perfumes serve also to hide the animal crudity of her flesh, her odour. She paints her mouth and her cheeks to give them the solid fixity of a mask; her glance she imprisons deep in kohl and mascara, it is no more than the iridescent ornament of her eyes; her hair, braided, curled, shaped, loses its disquieting paint-like mystery. (qtd. in Robbins 50)
115 Rhetorical masks are one of Woolfs fa vorite devices in he r fiction writing. Woolf combined her narrative st ance of subterfuge into a st rategic rhetorical mask that was modernist. In fact, Woolfs insistence on breaking the barriers to womens writing centered on killing off her most disliked Victorian mask: the angel in the house. Woolf had to eliminate the idealized Victorian woman if she were to build a career of her own. Woolfs continual reference to Coventry Patmores poem entitled The Angel in the House personified Woolfs enemy angel. Woolf's description of the angel in her own house is very evocative of her struggle to create her own writing career: [The angel in the house] was intensely sympathetic. She was immensely charming. She was utterly unselfish. She excelled in the difficult arts of family life. She sacrificed herself daily. ... And when I came to write I encountered her with the very first words. ... Directly, that is to say, I took my pen in my hand to review that novel by a famous man, she slipped behind me and whispered: My dear, you are a young woman. ... Be sympathetic; be tender, flatter; deceive; use all the arts and wiles. Never let anybody guess that you have a mind of your own. ( CE 2:285) This particular image demonstrates the exte nt of womens internal ization of societys constructed ideas about gender and identity. Clearly, Woolfs murderous fantasy about killing the angel shows that W oolf experienced eliminating, or exorcising, the angel as a very difficult task. In the essay Professions for Women, Woolf write s, She died hard. Her fictitious nature was of great assistance to he r. It is far harder to kill a phantom than a reality ( CE 2 :285). This fictitious nature was a writing strategy Woolf used to make
116 her own fiction more layered. In Night and Day, Jacobs Room and The Years, Woolf uses fantasy and phantoms to exploit her suffrage and feminist agenda. By using wellknown fairy tales she evoked meanings that were seductive to he r characters and her readers. However, Woolf would then reve rse meanings or subvert the endings to defamiliarize the conventional moral agendas and provoke new perception and reform. Woolf killed the phantoms and fantasies by inverting them and displaying the inner guts to a destabilized audience. It seems to me that the particular mask of femininity that Woolf dons is a means to at once dis guise and express her feminist agenda. Woolf throws off the angel in the house and recruits her own created fantas y masks in order to beat the enemy at its own game. Accord ing to Ruth Robbinss interpretation of Ellmanns feminine mask, [Woolfs] feminin ity is a kind of masquerade, a performance that defuses criticism... whilst still allowing her to make her points. ... Such femininity can be used creatively for subversive effect (69). Robbins further explains, And a critique that exposes a problem is still worth doing, even if it cannot ch ange the world. It is a tool, a part of an ongoing process not an answer itself (68). This is a philosophy that Woolf would accept especially in her use of the suffrage agenda. Charlotte Bront is often associated w ith Woolf as another writer who used fantasy as a mask for an inte rrogation of a characters identity as a woman. Charlotte Bront's fantasy in Jane Eyre allows her major character an opportunity to explore a fantasy image that involves Eyres subconscious Early in the novel, Jane stares into a large mirror in the red room where she is im prisoned. As Jane tries to establish her identity in this strange household, the act of beholding herself in the mirror reflects an image she does not recognize:
117 I had to cross before the looki ng-glass; my fascinated glance involuntarily explored th e depth it revealed. All looked colder and darker in that visionary hollow than in reality; and the strange little figure there gazing at me, with a white face and arms specking the gloom, and glittering eyes of fear moving where all else was still, had the effect of a real spiri t: I thought it like one of the tiny phantoms, half fairy, half imp Be ssies evening stories represented as coming out of lone, ferny dells in moors, and appearing before the eyes of belated travelers. I returned to my stool. (9) Bessies nursemaid stories, which tell of the hard life of the poor orphan child who haunts the deserted byways of the moors, make Jane empathetic. Jane sees the phantom figure in the mirror and wonders who it can be, and yet it is Jane herself who is reflected. The feeling of alienation yet empathy is familiar to Woolfs characters Katharine Hilbery and Rose Pargiter. Katharine and Ro se have their fantasies. Rose imagines being among General Pargiters horse and riding through danger. Katharine imagines riding a monster of loneliness and traditional marriage. Rose feels imprisoned in her nursery as a little girl, and Ka tharine retreats to he r private bedroom where she looks into a looking-glass to see if her dinner attire is suitable. Rose al so stands on a bridge looking into a water-mirror and does not like the image as she remembers sad times. All of this uses Lewis Carrolls image of a looking-gla ss to represent looking into another, alien world where the onlooker can see another identity, possibly a future identity. For Jane Eyre, staring into her own reflection becomes a means for reconciling her circumstances. For Rose and Katharine, staring into their own reflections becomes a means to envision
118 themselves as New Women, a way to see they have a choice in the direction of their lives. The looking-glass becomes a kind of crys tal ball. In either case, this is an opportunity to present a rhetorical mask or persona so that the reader may sympathize with the heroine, Jane, Rose, or Katharin e, and speculate about the outcome of the fantasy vision. There is also a sense of parody in these looking-glass images of Bront, Woolf, or Carroll. As Patricia Waugh defines parody in her book, Metafiction The Theory and Practice of SelfConscious Fiction: In fact, parody in metafiction can be equally regarded as another lever of positive literary change, for by undermining an earlier set of fictional conventions which have become automatized, the parodist clears a path for a new, more perceptible set. The problem arises because parody is double-edged. A novel that uses parody can be seen either as destructive or as critically evaluative and breaking out into new creativ e possibilities. (64-65) If parody is viewed as a positive approach, then it allows the author to integrate both the character and the reader into a mutual exploration of the options for change and transformation. Woolfs use of familiar fairy tales as a conventional ground that she can manipulate with parody and subversion gi ves these options for change. She defamiliarizes the ancient stories by putting them into contemporary situations and possible outcomes. As mentioned in chapte r 5, Woolfs use of fantasy was a favorite way for her to extend meaning into speculati on so that her characters, and the reader, could safely explore the consequenc es of the characters decisions.
119 In addition to phantoms and fantasy, another favorite rhetorical mask that Woolf employs is the physical shield that clothing provides. Woolf s consistent reference to the New Woman included the exterior mask of clot hing as a signifier of the outer shell of a womans personality. As Woolfs narrator in Orlando asserts: There is much to support the view that it is clothes that wear us a nd not we them; we may make them take the mould of arm or breast, but they mould our he arts, our brains, our tongues to their liking (188). Although Woolf was always suspic ious about women who follow societys fashion dictates, she understood the power of external symbols and masks whether psychological, emotional, or physical as in clothing. Clothes, she knew, were a visual language that communicated soci oeconomic class, prejudices, and political correctness. That is why she picked tricol ored clothing as significant for her suffragist characters. In addition to selecting characters clothes to signify exterior shields, Woolf also utilized color symbolism and suffrage references in her descriptions of womens tricolor clothing. Although Jane Goldman focuses on impressionist art for her prismatic analysis about tricolors, it is also possible to use other art styl es when examining clothing. Twentieth-century art movements, especially nouveau, futurism, and supremistism, with their geometric designs and color juxtapos itions influenced womens clothing design. According to an editorial statement in Art Journal entitled Clothing as Subject, clothing has always been pr esent in visual arts: As a familiar presence in figurative art, clothing has functioned as both formal and iconographical eviden ce and as a signifier of class and social status. In the early decades of the twentieth century, fashion, costume, textile design played a significant role in a
120 number of movements, includ ing Art Nouveau, Futurism, the Russian avant-garde, Dada, Surrea lism, and the Bauhaus. (Felshin 20) The designer Sonia Delaunays simultane ous clothing of the mid-1920s uses this role of clothing as signifier in designs for the New Woman of her time. Delaunay perceived the clothing design process as a cont inual wrap or swaddling of the female body. The simultaneous process of printing, wrapping, cutting simple forms, overlaying form or form, pattern on pattern, shifting and turning for inventive reiteration was part of this decades aesthetics (Buckberrough 55). The New Woman needed a new densely coded system of signification that transmits psychological, sexual and cultural messages (Felshin 20). In Delaunay Design: Aest hetics, Immigration, and the New Woman, Sherry Buckberrough compares Delaunays interest in the movement of colors, forms, and physical materials to the physical movement of populatio ns, including the migration of the international avant-garde to Paris befo re and after World War I. If textiles, as Buckberrough points out, were a primary property of nomads, then Delaunays fashion aesthetic, with its multiple reference to m ovement and its cross-cu ltural influences, was an affirmation of a world in flux (Felshin 29). World War I, including preand postwar years, is the time setting of Woolfs early novels. She could appr eciate all the changes that this period brought as her characters traveled throughout the British Empi re, especially in India and Africa. Her characters travel experiences, whether for recreational or military reasons, expanded their horizons and their political views. Although her major focus was literary, the characters clothes were always a descriptive feature of character development. Whether
121 her characters are wearing military uniforms, colorful saris, or peasant designs, Woolf incorporated tricolors in her descriptions of clothing as we ll as her characters physical appearances. Woolf used th ese traits continually as she knew all the physical, psychological, sexual, and class distinctions that clothing makes and used these signifiers to her advantage. As Elizabet h Wayland Barber notes in her book Womens Work: The First 20,000 Years, Clothing right from our first dire ct evidence twenty thousand years ago, has been the handiest solution to conve ying social messages visually, silently, continuously (qtd. in Felshin 29). The use of tricolors and clothing to signi fy political intent was part of Rose Pargiters plan to advance womens suffrage, as was that of suffragist Ethel Smyth after whom Woolfs character was modeled. Rose and Ethel may have considered fashion to be frivolous and a waste of time and energy, but they coul d not deny clothings visual and political impact. They used this imp act to further their purposes creating both a visual shield and a political weapon. The New Woman emerged during the 1920s, the time period of Night and Day, and one of the manifestations of the New Woman phenomena was a change in clothing design. While Woolfs characters Rose Pa rgiter and Ethel Smyt h are described as unfashionable and unattractive, ot her characters, especially Mary Datchet, wanted to wear attractive clothing that made them feel good and that were functional. They wanted to combine fashion with practicality. Soni a Delaunay, a French designer at the time, wanted to give New Women a visual repr esentation of their new freedoms. When designing for the New Woman, Delaunay focused on the private space of the body versus the public exterior of clothing. Her tent-like dress shapes al lowed for a separate private
122 space from the public exterior (Buckberr ough 51). Delaunays intention was to transform the ethnic trends of the migration from the east to clothes that would work for the western woman. The textiles she chose we re based on tribal designs of the eastern nomads. Textiles intervene with the structur es and surfaces of architecture, furniture, and the body. They obscure prior signs of cultu ral identity with their signifying surfaces. They cover (Buckberrough 51). One way that Woolf explored the private versus public dichotomy of the New Woman was to create a mask as a barrier to discovering this dichotomy. Delaunay speaks of creating a private space while movi ng outside in a public space. The public space for Woolf would be the sidewalks of London, parks, libraries, or museums -all civic places she uses in her novels. These spac es are important for her characters as they move about and have adventures in London. As they do so, th eir exterior appearance is commented on by other characters and by Woolf, the narrator. Sonia Delaunay creates such a movable private space with her clothing designs as a shield, just as Woolf uses clothing and personal emotional shields to pr otect her characters. Delaunays clothing philosophy was to create shapes for women s clothing that would exhibit the modern iconography and still provide interior privacy: As tents, they separate private space from public exterior. As clothing, they make the body private. Both remove the personal from public view, yet in their malleability, fragility, and softness, the personal never seems out of touch. Delaunays designs transformed in clothing were especially protective of personal privacy in that their heightened visual effects discouraged tactile
123 approaches. They protected like shields as they nonetheless announced the presence of th e body underneath. (Buckberrough 51) Delaunays protective shield tent dresses expressed the New Womans desire to be different from previous gene rations and free from their c onstraints. These models wrapped in swaddling clothes, are nonethele ss fashionable French ladies of the 1920s. They are the new women, with short hair and without corsets, demanding a different future than that of their moth ers. Rejecting the heritage of the West, they took their cues here from ancient Egypt, the Ea st, and Africa. (Buckberrough 53) Many of the places to which Woolfs charac ters had traveled, places like India, China, Africa, Russia, and France where Engla nd had colonies or trade agreements, were the same places from which Delaunay took inspiration. Characters such as Mary Datchet, Katharine Hilbery, Peggy Pargiter, and Eleanor Pargiter were expanding their horizons with education and travel. The bourgeois woman that Delaunay was designing for was wrapped in the modern Serpent Scarf of Delaunay designs, which announced the wearers rebirth and liberation. The erotic burden of her body was transposed to the textile surface, where it moved in metaphor, the body itself remaining below, like the soil of the earth. Under the veil of th e textile, the woman fathered her power (Buckberrough 53). The London streets and ma rkets that Woolfs characters walked were described as heaped hi gh with round crates of cabbage cherries, carnations, they looked like caravans piled with the goods of trib es migrating in search of water, driven by enemies to seek new pasturage ( TY 129). These circumstances closely resemble Delaunays explanation of her trib al designs for the New Woman.
124 Woolfs descriptions of th e clothing and independent attitudes of her female characters, her use of suffrage colors and Ne w Woman designs, reve al her concern with womens rights and social reform. Woolf s characters new patterns of clothing and broadened horizons of travel reflected her auth orial interest in the winds of world change wars, suffrage, womens rights, military expa nsion, and power. Woolf's created female characters, Mary Datchet, Katharine Hilb ery, and Peggy and Eleanor Pargiter, were reconsidering their place in the world, as were the New Women who wore Sonia Delaunays clothing at the time. Sherry Buckberrough observes: Delaunays designs were not for the reconstruction of the body for functional, industrial, futuristic pu rposes, as in the Soviet Union. On the other hand, neither was it no stalgic for a more elegant or exotic past. As designs for a bourgeois consumption, Delaunays aesthetic urged reconsideration of ones place in the world in sympathy with cultural migrations, collisions, mergers, reformulations and recognized a progressive bourgeois right to support, through aesthetic presence, the worlds dynamic state of change. (55) Woolf and Delaunay believed that the New Woman should be a citizen of the world. Woolfs idea of wome n bonding together to form a New World community is a visualization of a world that promotes so cial reform, womens economic rights, and suffrage. Delaunays designs used Kente cloth, hand-woven cer emonial cloth, and traditional African patterns to reenvision themes of royalty, womanhood, divine beauty, and participatory democracy. Delaunays designs took cloth made for royalty and
125 ceremonial occasions and made it available to many. She helped to democratize these patterns, although she was designing clothe s for a limited, elite clientle. The appropriation of ethnic design for a Caucas ian clientle is perhaps a problematic maneuver and could be interpreted as colonialist by modern theory. However, Delaunay, of Ukrainian, Russian, and Jewish heritage, intended to create a more universal New Woman who would understand th at the whole world must be involved with reform. Exploring Woolfs tricolors alongside Delaunays New Woman clothing designs shows similar methods or intentions between the two women but for different causes. Woolfs plan to incorporate the tricolors in her writing was a way to subtly support the suffrage movement. As identified in chapter 5, Woolf utilizes numerous references to purple, green, and white in Night and Day, Jacob's Room and The Years. Her arrangement or rearrangemen t of the tricolors was intended to effect a verbal representation of the visual le arning. Furthermore, from my close reading of the novels, I would claim that Woolf wanted to take Roger Frys significant form and transform it into significant color. Sonia Delaunay, on the othe r hand, was interested in the art movements of her time, which included cubism and the pointillism of Seurat. Sonia and her husband Robert Delaunay had been study ing the color theories of Michel Eugene Chevreul, they called their experiments with color in art and de sign simultaneisme This is a term that the couple coined to differentiate their color system, which refers to the affect one design has on a neighboring color pattern. Dela unays avant-garde designs and color innovations produced textiles and clothing that proclaimed publicly that the New woman could wear clothes far different from those of her traditional sister s and, most certainly,
126 far different from those of the Victorians. The swaddling effect a nd lack of constricting undergarments liberated womens bodies as well as their minds. Delaunays Ukrainian, Russian, and Jewish heritage and her work in France brought a multicultural perspec tive to her clothing for the New Woman. Similarly, Woolf appropriates a universal perspective in her writing and imitates the immigration movement and ethnic influences of the British Empire in her characterizations. Each woman takes her perspective on the Ne w Woman and makes it a New World. The creative overlap between Woolf and Delaunay occurred during a time of great ferment in the arts. Delaunays lif etime (1885-1979) outlasts Woolfs shortened life (1882-1941), and we do not know if Woolf met or knew of Delaunay, although certainly through Vanessa and the Bloomsbury Group, Woolf was aware of the aesthetic and artistic innovations of the early and mid-1920s. Both Woolf and Delaunay were envisioning a future for the New Woman while transforming the basic creative tools of the literary and visual arts. Delaunays experiments included r eenvisioning quilting, a womanly art form. Whereas Delaunay embraced spontaneity in her creative process, Woolf preplanned her writings, carefully composing and editing them. The sense of freedom in Delaunays creations could be compar ed to Vanessas painting style. Perhaps Woolf was trying to capture the freedom of the visual artist in her writing and to free writers from literary constricti ons as Delaunay attempted to free women from constrictive clothing designs. Like Virginia and Leonard Woolf, Delaunay and her husband Robert were independent producers or publishers. Sonia and Robert produced their own printed textiles and materials for the New Woman of the time in their Orphism-related workshop.
127 Virginia and Leonard cofounded Hogarth Press, an independent press that helped to launch Woolfs novels and the works of othe r major contemporary writers, including Joyce, Lawrence, and Pound. Woolfs tricolor suffrage reference grew out of the situation, the characters, and the landscapes so that the presence of color motifs appears seamless. Woolf was influenced by the Omega Workshop ideas of Roger Fry, which conceptualized the novel as a single perfectly organi c aesthetic whole (Goldman 116). Organic seamlessness was also a goal for Sonia Delaunays New Wo man clothing. What could be more complimentary than writing and designing a new aesthetic atmosphere for women to create in and wear? Woolf and Delaunay were innovators in creating the 1920s New Woman. For Woolf, the New Woman was located in communities of women coming together to raise consciousness and achieve political reform. For Delaunay, the New Woman wore clothing that she designed to provide women gr eater freedom of movement and to honor multicultural ethnicity. The fruition of Delaunays design philosophy was the graphically integrated way she took basi c masculine, geometric art and converted it into designs that empowered women. Dela unays graphic art made freedom wearable and, as a result, was more personal and intimat e than the sandwich boards that Vanessa spurned or even the suffrage banners that a nnounced the freedom spir it to the world. The freedoms for women that Woolf and Delaunay embraced live on today, as do the symbolic tricolors of the twentieth-century suffrage. The juxtaposition of tricolors in Virginia Woolfs novels, Sonia Delaunays graphic art, and Vanessa Bell s paintings are a testament to the New Woman of the early twentieth-century and all of the reforms that took place during the lifetimes of these
128 creative women. These women challenged the es tablishment culture and rules as part of a process if not the answer to a world in flux. Bringing togeth er disparate ethnic influences, artistic movements, and literary advances makes a potent combination that is still going on in the current century. What lies ahead for the New Woman is a work in progress and always wi ll be. A motto for the New Woma n might be To question is the answer. Maybe this is the only kind of an swer that a constantly renewing world can offer. This is the promise of the suffrage movement and of Virginia Woolfs literary contribution. Some answers are resolved, but others take their place. The questions become more difficult and complex, but th e process remains the same. Woolf and Delaunay help guide us to this understanding. The interrogati on process makes the journey exciting and renewable. Woolf cloaked the traditional novel in ne w raiment, concealing and revealing at the same time. Woolfs involvement in the Bloomsbury Group may have been the equivalent of Delaunays involvement in the Art Deco and Orphism movements in Paris. Goldman has pointed out that the impressi onist and, crucially, the postimpressionist painters were an inspiration for Vanessa, so it can be assumed that Woolf would have been knowledgeable about contemporary art movements and may have been influenced by Parisian artists. Woolf can be seen as placing words together just as Delaunay patterned blocks of color. Both Woolf and Delaunay were Universali sts in their outlooks. Delaunay drew from her multicultural heritage to create a dramatic new form of clothing for the New Woman. Woolf was subtler in he r literary transformations of the novel in support of the New Woman and new wo men writers to follow. Woolfs Night and Day
129 Jacobs Room and The Years offer a pivotal legacy for the New Woman and the interrogation of the pr omise suffrage held.
130 Epilogue Seen through the tricolor prism of Virg inia Woolfs eyes, the New Woman is a blend of the traditional and modern views of a womans role in British society. The traditional woman is a reference point for what is in need of change, and the modern view is the progressive understanding about what is possible for a woman to do outside the home. This traditional reference point is a marker for measuring progress. The tricolors reflect goals for women: the green color of hope for new expressive possibilities for women and the freedom to explore all her ta lents; the white color for purity of purpose and the freedom to not be distracted by the roles of wife, mother and housekeeper; the color of purple for the passion and motivati on to continue the struggle, no matter the odds. These are the color areas that make up th e faces of suffrage. These faces reveal to the world the honesty, inte grity, and passion of wo mans suffrage. Woolf is usually described as a modern wr iter or a modernist writer. With some reservations, Woolf does fall within the m odernist category as defined by Calinescu. However, in order to create novels that w ould serve her own feminist purposes, Woolf does not completely ignore the past but rather ch ooses to refer to it in order to remake the content and form of the British novel. In his book Five Masks of Modernity Calinescu combines the five most recent movements that embrace a concept of modernity: Modernism, Avant-Garde, Decadence, Kitsch, and Postmodernism. These modern movements are the background for understandin g the broader modernist reference to Woolfs writing. Calinescu stat es that such terms as mode rn, modernity, and more recently modernism... have been used in ar tistic and literary c ontexts to convey an increasingly sharp sense of historical relativism. This re lativism is in itself a form of
131 criticism of tradition (3). Calinescu insist s that a modernist writer or a modernist artist is by definition cut off from the normative past with its fixed criteria, and tradition has no legitimate claim to offer examples to imitate or directions to follow (3). Woolf wanted to break from literary traditions to reinvent the English novel. Aesthetics changed for modern artists and writers from a central value of permanence to one of change. Calinescu defines modern as fundamentally about change: What we have to deal with here is a major cultural shift from a tim e-honored aesthetics of permanence, based on a belief in an unchanging and transcendent Beau ty, to an aesthetics of transitoriness and immanence, whose central values are change and novelty. (3) Woolfs interest in recr eating her own writing style and aesthetics includes her selection of the tricolors as an overriding color scale for Night and Day Jacob's Room, and The Years. Her tricolor mask offers her a way to display her suffrage values without overtly expressing her support. No matter the physical object or person, she finds a way to incorporate her tricolor design. This is one of the ways Woolf defines herself as a modernist. Her subject matter and fluid styl e and tricolors position Woolf firmly as a modernist. Woolfs ties to the past are im possible for her to sever completely, but she does achieve a transformation of her literary he ritage and create a reform aesthetic which reflects her own values and goals. In he r writing, Woolf becomes her own narrow bridge to art. Her bridge is a tricolor rainbow that overarc hes her modernist aesthetic. Woolf was a firm believer in change and advocated for a future that included the rights for women to vote and to earn an independent income. Although I believe that Woolf s politics are interwoven into her aesthetics, several literary critics insist that there is an o pposition inherent between the two. Toril Moi
132 suggests in her seminal book Sexual/Textual Politics: Feminist Literary Theory that there should be no binary opposition of aesthetics on the one hand and politics on the other, so that we are able to locate the politic s of Woolfs writing precisely in her textual politics (16). Moi continues to comment about Woolfs textual practice which is of course much more marked in the novels than in most of the essays (16). Woolfs interest in womens suffrage is embedde d throughout her early novels, and I have discussed the hidden codes and suffrage agenda that support this asse rtion. I restricted my focus to Woolfs three early novels while making reference to the nonfiction A Room of Ones Own and Three Guineas where Woolfs argument for womens economic rights is blatant. Woolfs fiction, particularly the early novels that featur e suffragist characters, like Mary Datchet and Rose Pargiter, display Wool fs verbal pyrotechnics in support of the suffragists tricolors. Woolf s subterfuge, subversion, and par ody irritate feminist critic Elaine Showalter. Moi and Showalter oppose each other on W oolfs feminist aesthetic. In A Literature of Their Own: British Women Novelists from Bront to Lessing Showalter insists that Woolfs techniques of repetition, exaggeration, parody, whimsy, and multiple viewpoints obscure Woolfs sincerity and focus on feminism (282). Showalter objects to the more obvious surface style of A Room of Ones Own, but these same categories persist in Woolfs fiction. The entire book, writes Showalter, is teasing, sly, elusive in this wa y: Woolf plays with her audience, refusing to be entirely serious, denying any earnest or subversive in tention (284). Moi in terprets Showalters traditional humanism as being very patriarchal and hierarchical. Her rebuttal to Showalters interpretation of Woolfs essa y style is similar to my stance: Woolfs
133 strategies are meant to engage the reader in serious thinki ng as she experiences Woolfs ideas, strategies, and feminist agenda: the many different personae present a multifaceted kaleidoscope of past barriers and future solutions (Moi 2-3). Woolfs overarching, universal vision incorporates a nd embraces all aspects of sexual/textual politics. Her vision is a guide to reform the past and embrace the present. As Moi states, the goal should be to present Virginia Wool f as the progressive, feminist writer of genius she undoubtedly was (18). I agree with Mois suggestion that Woolfs fictional pol itics and her novels are as important as her nonfiction political essays. It seems reasonable to me that Woolf with her fluid categories and equally fluid writing style would wish to use her suffrage agenda in all of her writing. Woolfs mind di d not divide writing forms; in fact, she encouraged the blurring of writi ng approaches. Her repetition of categorical lists in her writings served to parody the effect of c onstricted minds trappe d in boxes of preset thinking. Woolf encouraged thinking out of the box even when this step became revolutionary and dangerous. Jane Marcus claims Woolf was a guerrilla fighter in a Victorian skirt... and sees in her a champion of both socialis m and feminism (1). Woolf knew what turmoil her ideas could foment, espe cially in the patriarchy of her time. She knew what censorship from outside and inside by the angel of the house could do to a womans writing style. Wool f was wary about stating he r views publicly, but she got bolder and angrier as she aged. Woolfs hes itant steps were anot her manifestation of her inner fears as she formulated her reform agenda. To criticize this manifestation as biographical and not textual is to miss the poi nt. A writers emoti onal state does affect her writing, as do her physical circumstances ; nevertheless, the text produced is a
134 testament to those circumstances and the authors ideas. Biographical evidence is an integral part of what Woolf wr ote, not tangential to it. Al l of these perspectives, Moi, Showalter, and Marcus contri bute to the body of literary analysis of Woolf, but only begin to scratch the surface of Woolf s narrative playfulness and subversion. Influences of the Bloomsbury Group, 1902-1950 Virginia Woolfs aesthetic was influenced by her participation in the Bloomsbury Group, a collectivity of writers, artists, and thin kers that declared in its manifesto that aesthetics and politics should be separate. It is im possible to ignore the Bloomsbury Groups influence on Woolf's writing. The Bloomsbury Group espoused free love, antiwar and anti-imperialist se ntiments, and social justice. The unconventional ideas of the Bloomsbury writers and artists were asso ciated with unconventional innovations or perspectives in their respectiv e arts. Woolfs sister Vanessa Bell was also involved in the Bloomsbury Group. Vanessas use of color and tricolors in her paintings of women and men and her role as cover illustrator fo r Woolfs novels shows the close aesthetic connection between the writer and artist. Jane Goldman makes the connection betw een Vanessas color ideas and Woolfs interest in the meanings of color: Woolf shares her sisters aesthetic preoccupations; they both try to show non-physical experiences as formal realities, at the same time emphasizing and illuminating feminine experi ence. Both show communication between people as material events. Both relate this to colour (150). Although Goldman does not want to attribute feminist intentionality or suffragist allusion to Vanessa Bells work, she does assert that Woolf may well have looked at her sisters art with just this sort of
135 contextually aware feminist pe rspective (150). Both sist ers adapted the predominately male aesthetics of Bloomsbury for their own purposes. We have seen how Woolf supported suffrage in her essays and novels with her tricolors or sig nificant colors in place of Roger Frys significant form. B ecause the suffrage campaigns tricolors were well known by the mid-nineteenth century, their repetition in Woolfs novels creates an emotional, visual, and political effect, powerfully reminding the reader of the suffrage campaign. The Bloomsbury Group favored formalism or an emphasis on artistic form for its own sake. According to Bloomsbury member and art critic Roger Fry, there should be no reference to real world (mimesis) or poli tics. Clearly, the Bloomsbury aesthetics or preferences presented a challenge, for Woolf evol ved as a writer with political passions. Christopher Reed traces Woolf s response to the rejection of mimesis and concentration on the play of abstract form (11). Reed asserts that anyone who traces the development of Woolfs interest in Bloomsbury aesthetic rules should examine the chronology of the Bloomsbury texts with regard to their dates of issue (13). As Reed sees it, Bloomsbury formalism and Woolfs literary aesthetic influenced each other in a changing dynamic relationship. During the years 1909 through 1917, according to Reed, formalism explicitly opposed itself to literature: even the term literary applied to art signified an unhealthy emphasis on illusion at the expense of such formal values identified by Fry as rhythm, line, mass, proportion, light and shade, color, and perspective. (13) With this negative attitude toward literatures illusion s held by her peers, it is interesting that Woolfs early novels, especially Night and Day, include many fantasy moments experienced by main characters. Reed notes, Mary [Datchet] goes on in a most
136 unformalist way, to invent fantas tical stories in response to th e images before her (15). Certainly, Jacobs Room and The Years also contain images that are not realistic in formalisms terms. Even as early as 1916, Bloomsbury rigidity began to change. Language and representation became more acceptable (Reed 16). Woolf began to appreciate formalisms potential feminist application (Reed 19). Woolf explores the art for arts sake stance within fiction by includi ng painters as eccentric characters. In Jacobs Room, Mrs. Flanders poses for an artist, and the artist smudges the pa inting with a hasty violet-black dab (8). Mrs. Flanders as well as Jacob evad es all attempts to understand or embrace [the artist] (Reed 22). Woolf al so evades formalisms insistence on reality by creating unreliable narrators and representing layers of subjective reality that does not offer up authoritative knowledge. Woolfs references to the way Bloomsbury artists favor purely formal values are revealed in a letter in which she writes, [artists] are an abominable race. The furious excitement of these people all the winter over their pieces of canva s coloured green and blue is odious (L 2 :15). Yet, Woolf decides to use dabs of color in her own writing. After hearing Roger Frys discourse about African carvings, Woolf thinks she may use this African aesthetic of violet, blue, and green in Jacobs Room as the example about shows that she did, in fact, do so ( L 2:249). Woolfs most obvious attempt to reconcile art and politics is in her novel-essay The Pargiters, which she eventually split into The Years (1937) and Three Guineas (1918). Woolf gave an unconventional femini st approach to Bloomsbury formalism but to do so may have required publication split ting, and narrative embedding and subterfuge.
137 Woolfs feminist agenda is colo r coded with suffrage tricolors in Jacobs Room and The Years. The Bloomsbury Group interest in foreign style and in exotic places also comes through in the novels Jacobs Room and The Years. In summary, Woolf was cer tainly influenced by the formalism of Bloomsbury artists and thinkers. Her connection to Bloomsbury aesthetics helps to explain her interest in turning significant form into sig nificant color and also her incorporation of exotic and African art in th e novels. Woolfs writings, like Delaunays graphic designs of the time, convey Britains mingling with fo reigners and foreign ideas, resulting in a global overlay predictive of the universal message of multiculturalism and inclusiveness influencing the twentiet h-century New Woman. The artistic and intellectual influences of the Blooms bury Group with its strict emphasis on formalism, an aesthetic manifest o of sorts, became a point of creative departure for Woolf when she wrote her nove ls. Nevertheless, Woolf did write two powerful manifestos of her own calling for women's economic independence and creative space: Three Guineas and A Room of Ones Own. A final tribute to Woolf needs to acknowledge her place in modernist manifestos Woolfs vision of a Utopia for men and women and of universal rights for all transforms her philosophy into a manifesto one that stretches from the late nineteenth century and still rings true today. Because Woolfs ideas have spanned over a century of reform manifestos, it is relevant to discuss how her ideas hold up today. In her 2008 book entitled Modernism, Race and Manifestos, Laura Winkiel notes that although Woolfs feminist concerns and suffrage support are still relevant, Woolfs focu s as viewed from a twentieth-first century perspective is elitist and c onfined to her own class and race. Winkiel claims that
138 although Woolf did support workingwomen, as he r speech and subsequent letter to the Women's Co-operative Guild proves ( CE 4 134-148), she was silent about other minorities. Winkiel, in an attempt to transpose, transgress, and translate the activist texts of Virginia Woolf and others (190), in terprets Woolfs manife sto as asserting that the African and Asian nations will be mediate d through the League of Nations (191); in other words, the African and Asian nations need to be led toward enlightenment by the [white] Western world. Woolf herself was critical of manifestos and took on several critiques of the manifesto form and its focus in Three Guineas. The revolutionary qualities of manifestos led naturally into Woolfs reform of the British novel. Winki el points to Woolfs criticism of the overuse of the manifesto form in a footnote within Three Guineas (172). Woolfs chief complaint against manifestos is that they may not achieve the effects they desire (Winkiel 197). Mani festos aim to achieve change through words and exhortations, not actual political action, reforms, or deeds. In Three Guineas Woolf uses the epistolary form to answer questions about donating money to a peace society and to aid women in finding a profession. This question-answer approach mirrors previous manifesto beginnings and foregrounds the expected responses. Perhaps Woolfs primary critique of the manifesto genre was its masculinity. She felt [its] forward, linear momentum and aggres sive stance mirrors the self-interest and instrumentality with which men exert their wi lls within the competitive and often violent public sphere... (Winkiel 198). This is why Woolf recommends that like-minded women join an Outsiders Society that ma kes hesitant, tentative excursions into the public sphere but does not negotiate with the establishment. The Outsiders Society
139 would conspire to transform society from th e outside to the inside in a more cunning manner than replacing a masculine ma nifesto with a feminist one. Woolfs literary contribution was to redesign the traditional novel form. Her emphasis on poetic description and her abstract images of water, sun, and nature removed her plots and characters from the dependence on the real world of facts and ideas that the Bloomsbury Group disliked. She parodied the romantic plot in Night and Day, made her main character in Jacobs Room amorphous, and foregrounded an overarching historical pattern in The Years. She ventured a hybrid co mbination of novel-essay in The Pargiters, although she had to split this at tempt into two publication parts: Three Guineas (essay) and The Years (novel). The Pargiters was not, as Reed asserts, an abortive failure but rather a foundati on for Woolfs later work To the Lighthouse The Waves and Between the Acts (29). The attempt to blend novel and essay in The Pargiters contributed to Woolfs creative process and as such cannot be seen as a failure. Woolf experimented with manifestos as with other narrative forms. Her total response to the manifesto was to creatively answer its cal l to action by incorporating feminist and reformist approaches to the artistic and literary aesthetics of her time. Interview: Interrogating Virginia W oolf and Suffragist Ethyl Smyth As a complement to the hypothetical interview at the close of my first chapter, I offer a second imagined interview: this time I interrogate Virginia Woolf and suffragist Ethyl Smyth. This interview may be read as an epilogue to their suffrage causes and a glimpse into the New Woman character of W oolf, the writer, and Smyth, the musician.
140 INTERVIEWER (to Woolf): You have said that There is much to support the view that it is clothes that wear us a nd not we them: we may make th em take the mould of arm or breast, but they mould our hearts, our brains our tongues to their lik ing. Do you assert that women are constraine d by their clothes? WOOLF: Women can be constrained by their clothes if they follow fashions dictates. I recommend that a woman should find her own st yle that proclaims her desires, purposes and political vision. SMYTH: For me, clothing was a way to expres s my practical attitude toward my career. No-nonsense, tailored suits and bright suffrage colors in scar ves or jackets gave support to my suffrage vision. I only ha d a year to devote to the Cause so that I had to make every second count. Therefore, I wore suffrag e colors as I marched or demonstrated or attended rallies. INTERVIEWER: Both of you think that fash ion is frivolous, yet you both admit that society notes what women wear and makes judgments accordingly. Mrs. Woolf, in your private life you played a founding part in the Bloomsbury movement and you knew aesthetics made an important public statemen t. Creating a style that expressed your values was an important part of your life as a writer. Mrs. Woolf, how do you reconcile the two worlds of fashion and your political agenda? WOOLF: Since being indoctrinat ed about appropriate attire by my stepbrother George Duckworth, I was forced to understand my ideas of fashion were unconventional or unattractive. Personally, I wa nted to express my own priori ties. Along with other family constraints embodied in my ange l-in-the-house status, I learne d that the exterior shield and the inner voice must match or else serious psychic problems ensue.
141 SMYTH: My own ambition for a musical career wa s so strong that I determined early in my life to behave and to wear what I t hought would promote my individual ambition. INTERVIEWER: What do you see the impact of womens suffrage will be on social reform in general and for women in particular? WOOLF: When female suffrage was achieved in 1918, I did not feel di fferently inside. But I did notice that many women I knew such as Ethel Smyth or the Pankhursts had learned how to express their values publicly and forcefully. Through demonstrations, hunger strikes, and window smashing these women learned how to get the attention of a male Parliament and to influence the social progress of the British nation. The world was changing all over the British Empire with ne w influences coming from that empire. I foresaw many disasters from the two World Wa rs and I was discouraged, but I hoped that others would achieve different, more positive results. After all, female suffrage was won and new economic independence was possible. The necessities of a new life style would change fashion as well as society. SMYTH: I lived to see my 86th birthday, and I always felt that a womens inner spirit was more important than her outer form and attire. However, I did not try to please others through female wiles, so th at was an advantag e I rejected. INTERVIEWER: Do either of you think the tw entieth century will achieve parity for women and men? WOOLF: The career world of a writer has opened up for women. This will encourage other opportunities for women. SMYTH: I made my own musical path, but I always wanted other women to have career pathways open to them. Thats why I supported suffrage.
142 INTERVIEWER: In an earlier interview, you advocated for womens suffrage, yet you were unsure as to the outcome. Now, that the Suffrage Reform Bill of 1918 has passed do you think that the suffrage goals have been accomplished? WOOLF: I wrote in my diary th at I don't personally feel differe nt, but the passage of this voting reform proves that womens issues are being taken seriously. This is a big step forward. Whether women gain economic i ndependence or that women writers are granted more freedom remains to be seen. Probably, women will demand and take these opportunities and not wait to be accommodated. SYMTH: I agree that the passage of the Reform Bill means womens rights are being taken seriously. Whether this reform m eans easier access to a musical career is problematic. Music has a strongly entrenched patriarchal hierarchy, so a musical career for a woman still has huge barriers. WOOLF and SMYTH: We both ha ve done our part to inspire and clarify what is necessary for women to become fully accomplis hed. Future generations of women must build on this. The progre ss gained is too crucial to revoke or erase. INTERVIEWER: What is your lasting legacy? WOOLF: My fiction and nonfiction writing reveals what an independent spirit can accomplish. As a woman writer, my purpose was to write my advocacy for suffrage and economic independence through cogent arguments. SMYTH: My legacy was to demonstrate what a strong, persistent spirit can accomplish. Through my memoirs I proved how successful and courageous a woman can be. My unquenchable spirit made every day an advent ure. I was a pattern maker and a role model for women like Virginia Woolf, whom I count as a lifetime friend.
143 WOOLF: This is true. A lthough my friend could be tiresome, she was a model of persistence in the face of adve rsity. She clarified my questions and kept me hopeful that my writing would not be in vain. Thank you, Ethel.
144 Works Cited Anderson, Gwen. Ethel Smyth The Burning Rose: A Brief Biography. London: Cecil Woolf, 1997. Apter, T.E. Virginia Woolf: A Study of Her Novels. New York: New York UP, 1979. Banks, Joanne Trautman, ed. Congenial Spirits: The Sele cted Letters of Virginia Woolf. New York: Harcourt, 1989. Bell, Quentin. Introduction. The Diary of Virginia Woolf. By Virginia Woolf. Ed. Anne Olivier Bell. Vol. 1. New York: Ha rcourt, 1977. 5 vols. 1915-1941. Black, Naomi. Social Feminism. Ithaca: Cornell UP, 1989. Blain, Virginia. Narrative Voice and the Fema le Perspective in Virginia Woolfs Early Novels. Virginia Woolf: New Critical Essay. Eds. Patricia Clements and Isobe Grundy. Totowa: Barnes and Noble, 1983. 115-36. Bloom, Harold, ed. Modern Critical Views: Virginia Woolf. Philadelphia: Chelsea House, 1986. Bront, Charlotte. Jane Eyre. New York: Bantam Bell, 2003. Buckberrough, Sherry. Delaunay Design: Aesthetics, Immigration, and the New Woman. Art Journal 54.1 (1995): 20-9. Caine, Barbara, and Glenda Sluga. Gendering European History 1780-1920. London Leicester UP, 2000. Calinescu, Matei. Five Faces of Modernity: Modernis m, Avant-garde, Decadence, Kitsch Postmodernism. Durham: Duke UP, 1987. Cooley, Elizabeth. Discoveri ng the Enchanted Region: A Revisionary Reading of Night and Day . CEA Critic: An Official Journal of the College English Association 54.3 (1992): 4-17. Cott, Nancy F. The Grounding of Modern Feminism. New Haven: Yale UP, 1987. Eberly, David. Incest, Erasure, and The Years. Virginia Woolf: Emerging Perspectives: Selected Papers from th e Third Annual Conference on Virginia Woolf. Eds. Mark Hussey and Vara Neverow. New York: Pace UP, 1994. 147-51. Felshin, Nina. Clothing as Subject. Art Journal 54.1 (1995): 20-9.
145 Fisher, Jane. Silent as the Grave: Painting, Narrative, and the Reader in Night and Day and To the Lighthouse . The Multiple Muses of Virginia Woolf. Ed. Diane F. Gillespie. Columbia: U of Missouri P, 1993. 90-109. Fox, Susan Hudson. Woolfs Austen / Boston Tea Party: The Revolt Against Literary Empire in Night and Day . Virginia Woolf: Emerging Perspectives. Eds. Mark Hussey and Vara Neverow. New York: Pace UP, 1994. 259-65. Garner, Shirley Nelson. Women T ogether in Virginia Woolfs Night and Day. The (M)other Tongue: Essays in Femini st Psychoanalytical Interpretation. Eds. Shirley Nelson Garner, Clair Kahane, and Madelon Sprengnether. Ithaca: Cornell UP, 1985. 318-33. Gilbert, Sandra M., and Susan Gubar. Sexchanges. New Haven: Yale UP, 1989. Vol. 2 of No Mans Land: The Place of the Wom an Writer in the Twentieth Century. Goldman, Jane. The Feminist Aesthetics of Virginia Woolf: Modernism, PostImpressionism and the Politics of the Visual. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1998. Hill, Octavia. The Life of Octavia Hill as Told in Her Letters. Ed. C. Edmund Maurice. London: Macmillian, 1913. Holton, Sandra Stanley. Suffrage Days: Stories From the Womens Suffrage Movement. New York: Routledge, 1996. Hussey, Mark. Refraction of Desire: The Early Fiction of Virginia and Leonard Woolf. MFS: Modern Fiction Studies. 38.1 (1992): 127-46. Liddington, Jill, and Jill Norris. One Hand Tied Behind Us: The Rise of the Womens Suffrage Movement. New York: Rivers Oram P, 2000. Marcus, Jane. Virginia Woolf: A Feminist Slant. Lincoln: U of Nebraska P, 1983. Moi, Toril. Sexual/Textual Politics: Feminist Literary Theory. New York: Methen,1985. Naremore, James. Nature and History in The Years . Virginia Woolf: Revaluation and Continuity. Ed. Ralph Freedman. Los Angeles: U of California P, 1980. 241-62. Pankhurst, Sylvia. The Suffrage Movement. London: Lovat Dickenson, 1931. Pawlowski, Merry M. All the Gents Against Me: Virginia Woolf, Three Guineas and the Sons of Educated Men. Virginia Woolf: Emerging Perspectives: Selected Papers from the Third Annual Conference on Virginia Woolf. Eds. Mark Hussey and Vara Neverow. New York: Pace UP, 1994. 44-51.
146 Pawlowski, Merry M. and Vara Neverow. The Three Guineas Archive: A Hypertext Edition of Virginia Woolfs Reading Notebooks. Virginia Woolf and the Arts: Selected Papers from the Sixth A nnual Conference on Virginia Woolf. Eds. Diane F. Gillespie and Leslie Hankins. New York: Pace UP, 1997. 25-6. Reed, Christopher. Through Formalism: Femi nism and Virginia Woolfs Relation to Bloomsbury Aesthetics. The Multiple Muses of Virginia Woolf. Ed. Diane F. Gillespie. Columbia: U of Missouri P, 1993. Robbins, Ruth. Literary Feminisms. New York: St. Martin's P, 2000. Rudikoff, Sonya. A Possible Source for Night and Days Cassandra Otway. Virginia Woolf Miscellany 28.2 (1987): 4-5. Showalter, Elaine. A Literature of Their Own: British Women Novelists from Bront to Lessing. Princeton: Princeton UP, 1977. Solomon, Julie Robin. Staking Ground: The Politics of Space in Virginia Woolfs A Room of Ones Own and Three Guineas. Womens Studies 16.3-4: (1989) 331-47. Squier, Susan Merrill. Tradition and Revisi on: The Classic City Novel and Virginia Woolfs Night and Day. Women Writers and the City: Essays in Feminist Literary Criticism. Ed. Susan Merrill Squier. Knoxville: U of Tennessee P, 1984. 144-33. St. John, Christopher. Ethel Smyth A Biography. London: Longmans Green, 1959. Strachey, Ray. The Cause: A Short History of the Womens Movement in Great Britain. Port Washington: Kennikat P, 1969. Sutherland, Cori. Substantial Men and Tran sparent Women: Issues of Solidity in Jacobs Room. Virginia Woolf: Emerging Persp ectives: Selected Papers from the Third Annual Confer ence on Virginia Woolf. Eds. Mark Hussey and Vara Neverow. New York: Pace UP, 1994. Swanson, Diane L. An Antigone Complex? Psychology and Politics in The Years and Three Guineas. Virginia Woolf Texts and Context s: Selected Papers from the Fifth Annual Conference on Virginia Woolf. Eds. Beth Daugherty and Eileen Barrett. New York: Pace UP, 1996. 35-9. Tickner, Lisa. The Spectacle of Women: Imagery of the Suffrage Campaign, 1907-14. Chicago: U Chicago P, 1988. Waugh, Patricia. Metafiction: The Theory and Pr actice of Self-Conscious Fiction. New York: Routledge, 1993. Winkiel, Laura. Modernism, Race, and Manifestos. New York: Cambridge UP, 2008.
147 Woolf, Virginia. Night and Day. New York: Harcourt, 1920. ---. Orlando: A Biography. New York: Harcourt, 1956. ---. A Room of Ones Own. San Diego: Harcourt, 1957. ---. The Common Reader: First Series. London: Hogarth P, 1957. ---. The Common Reader: Second Series. London: Hogarth P, 1959. ---. Jacobs Room. New York: Harcourt, 1960. ---. The Years. New York: Harcourt, 1965. ---. Three Guineas. New York: Harcourt, 1966. ---. Collected Essays. 4 vols. London: Hogarth P, 1966-67. ---. Diary of Virginia Woolf. Ed. Anne Olivier Bell. 5 vols. New York: Harcourt, 1977. ---. Moments of Being. Ed. Jean Schulkind. 2 ed. London: Hogarth P, 1985. Zappa, Stephanie. Woolf, Wome n, and War: From Statement in Three Guineas to Impression in Jacobs Room. Virginia Woolf Texts and Contexts: Selected Papers from the Fifth Annual Conference on Virginia Woolf. Eds. Beth Rigel Daugherty and Eileen Barret. New York: Pace UP, 1996. 274-79.
148 Selected Bibliography Abbott, H. Porter. Old Virginia and th e Night Writers: The Origins of Woolfs Narrative Meander. Inscribing the Daily: Critical Essays on Women's Diaries. Eds. Suzanne L. Bunkers and Cynthia A. Huff: Amherst: U of Massachusetts P, 1996. 236-51. Banks, Olive. Faces of Feminism: A Study of Feminism as a Social Movement. New York: St. Martin's, 1981. Bell, Quentin. Virginia Woolf: A Biography. New York: Harcourt, 1972. Black, Naomi. Virginia Woolf and the Womens Movement. Virginia Woolf a Feminist Slant. Ed. Jane Marcus. Lincoln: U of Nebraska P, 1983. Bullock, Ian, and Richard Pankhurst. Sylvia Pankhurst. New York: St. Martins, 1992. Carroll, Lewis. Alice in Wonderland. Ann Arbor: J.W. Edwards, 2006. Cole, Margaret. Beatrice Webb. New York: Harcourt, 1946. Cooley, Elizabeth. The Medicine She Trusted to: Women, Friendship and Communication in The Voyage Out and Night and Day. Communication and Womens Friendships: Parallels and Inte rsections in Literature and Life. Eds. Janet Doubler Ward and Joanna Step hens Mink. Bowling Green: Popular, 1993. 65-76. Harvey, Kathryn. Politic s through different eyes: Three Guineas and Writings by Members of the Womens Internatio nal League for Peace and Freedom. Virginia Woolf Texts and Contexts: Se lected Papers from the Fifth Annual Conference on Virginia Woolf. Eds. Beth Daugherty and Eileen Barrett. New York, Pace UP, 1996. 235-40. ---. Historical Notes on Woolf and the Womens International League. Virginia Woolf and the Arts: Selected Papers from the Sixth Annual Conference on Virginia Woolf. Eds. Diane F. Gillespie and Lesl ie Hankins. New York, Pace UP, 1997. 142-9. Humm, Magie. Modernist Women and Visual Cultures: Virginia Woolf, Vanessa Bell, and Photography and Cinema. New Brunswick: Rutgers UP, 2003. ---. Snapshots of Bloomsbury: The Private Li ves of Virginia Woolf and Vanessa Bell. New Brunswick: Rutgers UP, 2006.
149 Hussey, Mark. Virginia Woolf A to Z: A Comp rehensive Reference for Students, Teachers, and Common Readers to Her Life, Work and Critical Reception. New York: Facts on File, 1995. Ingram, Angela, and Daphne Patai, eds. Recovering Forgotten Radicals. Chapel Hill: U North Carolina P, 1993. Johnson, George M. The Spirit of the Age: Virginia Woolfs Response to Second Wave Psychology. Twentieth Century Literatu re: A Scholarly and Critical Journal 40.2 (1944): 139-64. Kenney, Anne. Memories of a Militant. London: Edward Arnold & Co., 1924. Lee, Hermione. The Novels of Virginia Woolf. London: Methuen, 1977. Lounsberry, Barbara. The Diaries vs. the Le tters: Continuities and Contradiction. Virginia Woolf Texts and Contexts: Se lected Papers from the Fifth Annual Conference on Virginia Woolf. Eds.Beth Daugherty and Eileen Barrett. New York: Pace UP, 1996. 93-8. Mackenzie, Norman Ian, and Jeanne Mackenzie. Glitter Around and Darkness Within 1873-1892. Cambridge: Belknap P, 1982. Vol. 1 of Diary of Beatrice Webb. 4 vols. 18731943. Malamud, Randy. Spitting the Husks: Woolfs Modernist Language in Night and Day South Central Review 6.1 (1989): 32-45. Marcus, Jane, ed. New Feminist Essays on Virginia Woolf. Lincoln: U of Nebraska P, 1981. ---. Suffrage and the Pankhursts. New York: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1987. Mitchell, Juliet, a nd Ann Oakley, eds. What is Feminism: A Re-Examination. New York: Pantheon Books, 1986. Morgan, David. Suffragists and Liberals: The Politics of Woman Suffrage in England Totowa: Rowman and Littlefield, 1975. Muggeridge, Kitty, and Ruth Adam. Beatrice Webb: A Life, 1858-1943 New York: Knopf, 1968. Neverow, Vara. Tak[ing] our stand openl y under the lamps of Piccadilly Circus.: Footnoting the Influence of Josephine Butler on Three Guineas. Virginia Woolf Texts and Contexts: Select ed Papers from the Fifth Annual Conference on Virginia Woolf. Eds. Beth Daugherty and Eileen Barrett. New York: Pace UP, 1996. 13-24.
150 ---. Thinking Back Through Our Mothers, Thinking in Common: Virginia Woolfs Photographic Imagination and th e Community of Narrators in Jacobs Room A Room of Ones Own and Three Guineas. Virginia Woolf and Communities: Selected Papers from the Eighth An nual Conference on Virginia Woolf. Eds. Jeanette McVicker and Laura Davis. New York: Pace UP, 1999. 65-87. Olin-Hitt, Michael. Power, Discipline, a nd Individuality: Subversive Characterization in Jacobs Room . Virginia Woolf Texts and Context s: Selected Papers from the Fifth Annual Conference on Virginia Woolf. Eds. Beth Daugherty and Eileen Barrett. New York: Pace UP, 1996. 128-33. Outka, Elizabeth. The shop windows were full of sparkling chains: Consumer Desire and Woolfs Night and Day . Virginia Woolf Out of Bounds: Selected Paper from the Tenth Annual Conference on Virginia Woolf. Eds. Jessica Schiff Berman, and Jane Goldman. New York: Pace UP, 2001. 229-35. Partridge, Frances. Julia: A Portrait of Julia Strachey by Herself and Frances Partridge. Boston: Little, 1983. Pethick-Lawrence, Emmeline. The Purple, White and Green. Programme, Princes Skating Rink Exhibition. London, 1909. Radice, Lisanne. Beatrice and Sidney Webb: Fabian Socialists. New York: St. Martins P, 1984. Setogawa, Junko. Another Night and Day: An Essay on Lappin and Lapinova. Ochanomizu Josh Daigaku Jimbun Kagaku Kiyo 53 (2000): 115-22. Stape, J. H. Virginia Woolfs Night and Day: Dates of Composition. Notes and Queries 39.2 (1992): 193-4. ---. Virginia Woolf: Two Unpublished Letters About Night and Day. Notes and Queries 40.4 (1993): 497-98. Strachey, Lytton. The Really Interesting Question and Other Papers. New York: Coward, McCann & Geoghegan, 1973. Strachey, Ray. Women's Suffrage and Womens Serv ice: The History of the London and the National Society for Womens Service. Westminister: London and National Society for Womens Service, 1927. Swanson, Diane L. With Clear-Eyed Scrutiny: Gender, Authority, and the Narrator as Sister in Jacobs Room . Virginia Woolf Out of Bounds: Selected Papers from the Tenth Annual Conference on Virginia Woolf. Eds. Jessica Sc hiff Berman, and Jane Goldman. New York: Pace UP, 2001. 47-50. Todd, Janet. Gender, Art and Death. New York: Continuum, 1993.
151 Tratner, Michael. The Value of Diff erence: Economics, Genders, and War in Three Guineas . Virginia Woolf and the Arts: Sele cted Papers from the Sixth Annual Conference on Virginia Woolf. Eds. Diane F. Gillespi e and Leslie Hankins. New York: Pace UP, 1997. 302-9. Whitworth, Michael. Woolfs Web: Telecommunications and Community. Virginia Woolf and Communities. Eds. Jeanette McVicker and Laura Davis. New York: Pace UP, 1999, 161-7. Woolf, Leonard. The Journey Not the Arrival Matte rs: An Autobiography of the Years 1939-1969. New York: Harcourt, 1969. Wussow, Helen. New Essays on Virginia Woolf. Dallas: Contemporary Research P, 1982. Zemgulys, Andrea P. Night and Day is Dead: Virginia Woolf in London Literary and Historic. Twentieth Century Literature 46.1 (2000): 56-77. Zimring, Rishona. Gissing, Wool f, and the Drama of Home. Virginia Woolf and Her Influences: Selected Papers from the Seventh Annual Conference on Virginia Woolf. Eds. Jeanette McVicker and Jeanne Dubino. New York, Pace UP, 1998. 85-91.
153 Appendix A: Abbreviations of Work s by Woolf and Su ffrage Societies Works by Woolf Jacobs Room JR Letters L Night and Day ND A Room of Ones Own R Three Guineas TG The Years TY Suffrage Societies League of Women Voters LWV Union fminine civique et sociale UFCS Womens Co-operative Guild WCG General Suffrage Society SGS* *In Night and Day, fictional suffrage society where Mary Datchet works
About the Author Gwen T. Anderson earned two bachelors degrees and two masters degrees prior to beginning work on her doctorate. Her advanced degrees are from Albion College (B.A. English) and the University of South Fl orida (B.A. in Theatre Arts; M.A. in Gifted Education; M.A. in Humanities). Ms. Ande rson spent 17 years working on her doctorate degree, during which time she also taught college-level humanities and English composition classes. She presented Virginia Woolf and Ethel Smyth: an Emblematic View of Aging and Death at the Fifth Annual Conference on Vi rginia Woolf, and she is the author of the monograph Ethel Smyth: The Burning Rose, a Brief Biography. Ms. Andersons study of Virginia Woolf and the suffrage moveme nt integrates all of her interests in the Fine Arts and English Literature. She wishes to express gratitude to Virginia Woolf for her support of womens rights and for the challenges that her literary legacy inspires.