In What Ways Does a Comparative Study Accentuate the Distinctive Contexts of Who’s 
Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and a Room of One’s Own?

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In what ways does a comparative study accentuate the distinctive contexts of Who’s 
Afraid of Virginia Woolf? and A Room of One’s Own?

A Room of One’s Own (1929) by Virginia Woolf and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1962) by Edward Albee, when compared, accentuate the difference in values and beliefs that pervaded the context in which they wrote. Woolf’s critical yet creative essay explores truth and gender equality in a period driven by progression and the first wave of feminism. Contrastingly, Albee attempts to confront his audience through satirical dialogue and bombastic characters. Although Albee also explores truth and gender equality, the difference in context allows him to examine the way in which these values have been discarded in the moral decline masked by the American Dream. When paralleled, it is evident that both texts reflect the differences of their context.

Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own digs beneath the veneer of social progress to expose the patriarchal values entrenched in society. Woolf first establishes the subjectivity of truth, so that the readers draw their own conclusion as “they observe the limitations, the prejudices, the idiosyncrasies of the speaker.” By making them conscious on the subjectivity of truth, Woolf is forcing the reader to draw their own conclusions on what is logical, rather than accepting the patriarchal beliefs of their context. The anecdotal evidence of the fictitious Mary Seaton’s experience at the British Museum exposes the illusion of male superiority. The subhuman representations of women in the books written by “Professor X” appear ridiculous and contradicted simply because the persona Mary Seaton is so logical and well educated. “Women have served all these centuries as looking glasses…reflecting the size of man at twice its natural size.” The metaphor of the distorted mirror is a creative allegory that…...

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