The Mother of All Questions - The Mother of All Questions Summary & Analysis

Rebecca Solnit
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Summary

In the title essay of this collection, Rebecca Solnit begins with a question she was asked in the question-and-answer session of a talk she gave on Virginia Woolf: whether Woolf should have had any children. Although she does not hesitate to provide reasons for why Woolf may have decided not to have children, she finds the question fundamentally misinformed and discriminatory, because it assumes that motherhood is a question to be asked of all women, regardless, and in fact in sheer ignorance, of what distinctions and individuality they may have. She sums up the problem with such a question succinctly: “many people have children; only one made To the Lighthouse and The Waves, and we were discussing Woolf because of the books, not the babies” (4).

Solnit continues by pointing out that this questioning a woman about her motherhood is a...

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This section contains 1,204 words
(approx. 4 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Mother of All Questions Study Guide
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