Arthur’s Education Fund is Virginia Woolf’s euphemism for the oppression of women over the centuries, representing in its generic title the habit of salting away every ounce of energy and money for a boy’s future without the merest scrap of concern about that of his sister. Arthur, at least will be taken care of. Arthur, it seems, will be safe.
He will end up being a soldier and the army will take care of him; or a clergyman, and the church will oblige; or a professor, wherein the university will claim him, and he will spend a good many hours of his life in the company of his fellows, unaware or unconcerned about the responsibilities, activities and burdens of his spouse if he has one. He may not have to become anything other than older, in which case it is highly likely that some estate or land has been entailed to him, and will keep him occupied in an even smaller environment.
And he will almost certainly be married to someone else’s deprived sister, so that the cycle is perpetuated. She will already have been trained by her brothers to expect nothing. Arthur will have been saved from the responsibility for her needs. She will have none.
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