Virginia Woolf World Literature Analysis
Anyone unfamiliar with the work of Woolf will doubtless be perplexed and confused by the apparent incoherence of her novels. She provides little background for the narrative situation, major characters are often difficult to distinguish from minor ones, and there is usually no important romantic interest. Instead of a story with a beginning, middle, and end consisting of events arranged in chronological order with occasional flashbacks and leading to a satisfying climax, Woolf presents instead an exploration of minds that perceive subtle variations among almost insignificant details (which themselves seem to flow at random), occasionally interrupted by essaylike commentaries. Her nine novels include Jacob’s Room (1922), Mrs. Dalloway (1925), To the Lighthouse (1927), The Waves (1931), and The Years (1937). Many of her excellent essays are to be found in The Common Reader: First Series (1925), The Common Reader: Second Series (1932), and The Death of the Moth, and Other Essays (1942).
Though her aesthetic roots are firmly established in the European literary tradition, her genius lies in exploring the inner world of her characters, leading her to elaborate a psychological complexity without parallel in the literature of the past. She invents new methods that permit her to explore this inner world of her characters by allowing them to express their abstract thoughts and feelings in...
(The entire section is 3883 words.)
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