Three Guineas

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Three Guineas is an important essay written by Virginia Woolf in 1938, a famous feminist writer in England. In this essay, Woolf responds to a letter she receives from a prominent London lawyer asking her to contribute three guineas toward a fund to prevent war -- one for building a women's college, one for promoting women's employment, and one to prevent war and protect intellectual liberty. She lays out a vision of women's education and economic independence as the foundation of social equity and justice.

In this essay, Virginia Woolf addresses the "professions of educated men" and their utter lack of ability to prevent war. Woman is under the constraint of socially constructed expectations and roles. The split between the private and the public realms is putting women in a disadvantageous position. Woolf says:¡±¡­ There are two worlds in the life of the nation, the world of men and the world of women.

Nature has done well to entrust the man with the care of his family and the nation. The woman's world is her family, her husband, her children, and her home'. Woolf not only rejects the patriarchal system, but also articulates the need of women's integration in the public sphere if they are to prevent war. But this creates dilemmas for women, as she says, ¡°...we daughters of educated men, are between the devil and the deep sea. Behind us lies the patriarchal system: the private house, with its nullity, its immorality, its hypocrisy, its servility. Before us lies the public world, the professional system, with its possessiveness, its jealousy, its pugnacity, its greed. (...) 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 mistake and so end it?¡± The...