In many of Virginia Woolf’s novels (such as "The Voyage Out", "Night and Day", "Mrs Dalloway", "To the Lighthouse" and "The Years"), the concept of family, and in particular family breakdown, appears. Considering her own life (her parents, brother, and half-sister all died when she was relatively young), does her family influence this portrayal of families? Obviously, one would have to give biographical information about Woolf and a description of the principle families in some of the novels (Mr and Mrs Ramsay in "To the Lighthouse", the Dalloways in "The Voyage Out" and "Mrs Dalloway", etc.)
Virginia Woolf was a declared feminist, although critics find it a struggle to claim her works for feminism. Her writing style—the multiplicity of perspectives and her stream of consciousness technique—were argued to be presenting a “denial of authentic states of mind, namely the ‘angry and alienated ones’” (Elaine Showalter). Woolf has also been accused of simply subscribing to the “separation of politics and art” because she refuses to “describe her own experience,” instead always relying on shifting points of view (Moi 3). However, it may be possible to reclaim Woolf’s works for feminism by reevaluating these same aspects of her work. Is she demonstrating a new way to grapple with language to suit the needs of the woman in the modern age?