How can I identify the traces of Impressionism in "Kew Gardens" by Virginia Woolf?

mstokes | Student

Impressionism may be defined as a literary style characterized by the use of details and mental associations to evoke subjective and sensory impressions rather than the re-creation of objective reality.

In "Kew Gardens," the narrator follows different visitors to the gardens, giving the reader brief snapshots of their lives through small descriptions as they reach the same flowerbed. The use of colour in the piece is particularly striking. Take for instance the passages where Woolf describes the petals falling to the ground staining the earth with these colours for a moment. Petals from the flowers soar through the sky in the summer breeze. The flowers' colours flash in the air. In the oval flowerbed a snail's shell is stained with red, blue, and yellow colour for a couple of minutes as it passes under the flowers. This use of detail and colour in the text would indicate that Woolf was using the techniques of Impressionism.

Read the study guide:
Kew Gardens

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question