During this week, we see the results of more women who are able to write, share, and publish. In this unit, you also experience a shift in the writing and in the culture. Even as women gain stronger voices, they are still limited in their opportunities and choices.

For this discussion board, analyze two of the assigned readings by stating and describing the messages of limited opportunities and how they are conveyed to the reader


Alice Dunbar-Nelson, “I Sit and Sew”


Amy Lowell, “Venus Transiens”


Virginia Woolf, “A Room of One’s Own” and “Professions for Women”



Think about the following questions: In at least two short paragraphs, be sure to answer the questions in complete, correct, detailed, and well-supported sentences

  • How are the women expressing themselves?
  • What are their issues regarding their lives and their freedoms?
  • What are the common and extensive themes throughout all of the readings?


Please respond to at least 2 other student with 5-7sentence if you agree or disagree with their post and explain why

Student Kiara E. post

In this week’s reading the two reading I found interesting was “I Sit and Sew” by Alice Dunbar Nelson and “Professions for Women “by Virginia Woolf. Nelson poem starts off “I sit and sew a useless task it seems. My hands grown tired, my head weighed down with dreams.” She addresses many issues about having a desire to leave the world of sewing and confined to and help those who are struggling for their lives all over the world. She addresses how her hands and head have grown tired of doing the task of sewing. That is what her passion consists of as a woman and her society that wouldn’t allow her to relax. Alice wanted to help others who were going through hard times. She talked about how she dreamed of the “Panoply of war” and how all those who fight and suffer within the war. Alice passion wasn’t sewing but that’s all her life consisted of, but she always had thoughts on helping the struggling people because that’s what her heart desired. The freedom Alice was looking for was being able to help any of the people who she feels so desperately need her.

The second reading I found interesting was “Profession for Women” by Virginia Woolf was an English feminist writer. Her style of writing was focused on exploration of the concepts of time and memory and human feelings and consciousness. She tells the truth about her own experiences as a woman and as a writer. Woolf kills a phantom known as the “The Angel in the House because it came between her and her paper when trying to write reviews.” The reading was based on professions of women writer and what she had to do to overcome in order to achieve success. The freedom Woolf was looking for was battling with the phantom in order to start reviewing books. Woolf stated, “Killing the Angel in the House was part of the occupation of a woman writer this statement meant women have to fight for social and economic equality.

Both readings, were related on trying to help others stand up for their self in a time of need. Woolf wanted women with all profession to achieve and fight for social inequality and prejudice. In the reading Alice “I Sit and Sew she felt the need to helps others no matter the horrible circumstances they were in. I believe that if Alice didn’t have to sit and sew, she would have helped the ones who was in the war. Woolf just wanted women all over to step up in get equal rights for themselves.

Student Margarita T.

During this week, we see the results of more women who are able to write, share, and publish. Women are writing and publishing their work because they wanted their standpoint. Men were the ones publishing works of literature and ignored the perspective of women. In this unit, there is more of a feminist movement approach in the tone for the women writers. There are progressive shifts in culture for women writers at this point in time. Women are gaining stronger voices, and are advocating for themselves and other women in the past, present, and potential future. Throughout the readings, we, as readers, realize that there are still limitations in opportunities and choices for women.

Some common themes in the readings are injustice, inequality, limitations, feminism, and strength. The work of literature that truly impacted me was Virginia’s Woolf, “A Room of One’s Own”. Woolf was a true feminist throughout her writing. She really was not ignorant of the fact that she was only fighting her own issues for freedom, but she served as a beacon of hope for all women. In her work, she mentions that “Once more I looked up Women, found ‘position of’ and turned to the pages indicated. ‘Wife-beating’, I read, ‘was a recognized right of man, and was practiced without shame by high as well as low…” (Gilbert, 238). Although women were seen as inferior they had to be immensely strong to survive the brutality and damaging treatment they endured from men. Women were limited to many aspects of the real world even if women were capable there were certain expectations and standards that limited many women. Woolf explains how women in literature were minuscule because “some of the most profound thoughts in literature fall from her lips; in real life, she could hardly read, could scarcely spell, and was the property of her husband” (Gilbert, 239). Women were property and business deals; therefore, “by no possible means could middle-class women with nothing but brains and character at their command have taken part in any one of the great movements” (Gilbert, 240). Women were not able to participate in movements, which correlated to Alice’s Dunbar-Nelson, “I Sit and Sew”. Nelson’s work takes place during the war, of course, men were drafted to fight for their country and women were domesticated and stayed home to wait and continue life. The speaker as a woman states “ I sit and sew—a useless task it seems, my hands grown tired, my head weighed down with dreams” (Gilbert, 171). It was interesting how she mentioned her “head weighed down with dreams”; women at the time lived for their husbands and families so the fact that she had her own dreams meant that it was a fantasy and much like the women in Woolf’s work they were silenced. Nelson continues to insinuate that women are “of lesser souls, whose eyes have not seen Death, Nor learned to hold their lives but as a breath” (Gilbert, 171) in a way the character is not advocating for freedom; however, we see how her “heart aches with desire— yearning only to go” (Gilbert, 171). This woman wants to fight for her country even with the dangers, which again eludes to the strength that women had at the time, but many simply neglected. Woolf does a great job at bringing at unity in the feminist movement by saying that “She [Shakespears sister] lives in you and in me, and in many other women who are not here tonight, for they are washing up the dishes and putting the children to bed” (Gilbert, 243). Through both these works of literature, we see how women are continuously faced with injustice due to the limitations imposed by men, yet progressively these women are gaining strength and utilizing their writing and voices to advocate equality and unity.

Gilbert, Sandra M., and Susan Gubar. The Norton Anthology of Literature by Women: the Traditions in English. 3rd ed., vol. 1, W.W. Norton, 2007.