Virginia Woolf Questions and Answers

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What point of view is used in "A Haunted House," a short story by Virginia Woolf ?

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Sara Barnard eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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The events of this story are told through the thoughts of the current inhabitant of the house, but despite being a first person point of view, we also see events from the (imagined) perspective of the ghosts in the house, and even from the house itself.

Virginia Woolf is known for stream-of-consciousness writing, a literary style that reveals a person’ s thoughts and reactions in a sometimes confusing continual flow. This technique is used in “A Haunted House” so the clue to working out the point of view is to consider whose thoughts are revealed in this stream-of-consciousness. To work out point of view in a story it is helpful also to consider the pronouns used to work out the identity of the narrator.

Although in the first sentence the ‘you’ might lead the reader to wonder about second person narration, it quickly becomes clear that there is a first person emphasis in the story, seen in the lines “but it wasn’t you that woke us,” “tired of reading, one might rise,”...

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