Date of Graduation
Doctor of Philosophy in English (PhD)
Second Committee Member
creativity, female artists, Privacy, Spatiality, Virginia Woolf, women writers
There is a divergence between Woolf’s vision of private physical spaces necessary for creating art and that of some feminists of color such as Alice Walker, Ortiz Cofer, and Gloria Anzaldua. Both Woolf and these contemporary scholars agree on the importance of physical spaces for female artists. However, they disagree on the nature of these spaces. Woolf’s private physical space is a room with a lock on the door whereas these writers’ room is the kitchen table, the bus, or the welfare line. Walker and like-minded writers challenge the narrowness of Woolf’s room because her locked room is a luxury that is only available to white wealthy women. This thesis seeks to examine the relation between Woolf’s room and that of some feminist scholars of color and explore if their visions of private physical spaces, allowing for and promoting women’s creativity, have anything in common. It also aims to resolve the tension between these two parties’ ideas of physical spaces by investigating how Woolf’s room or an expanded version of it has been reflected in Willa Cather’s O Pioneers!, Kate Chopin’s The Awakening, Gayl Jones’s Corregidora, and Alice Walker’s The Color Purple, and provide a possible answer for Alice Walker’s question about how a poor, slave woman such as Phillis Wheatley who did not even own herself could write poetry that considered “superior” at her time and today.
Alawfi, E. M. (2021). Diversifying Woolf’s Room: Private Spaces and Creativity in The Works of Willa Cather, Kate Chopin, Gayl Jones, and Alice Walker. Graduate Theses and Dissertations Retrieved from https://scholarworks.uark.edu/etd/4304
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