How and to what effect does Virginia Woolf use her narrative style to support her thesis?
By Victor Yoshida
- Popularised stream of conciousness writing style
- Part of the modernist era of writers
- Looked at the core components driving social, literary, and intellectual phenomena.
"A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction. "
- Virginia Woolf
Why Stream of Conciousness?
“At any rate, when a subject is highly controversial -- and any question about sex is that --- on cannot hope to tell the truth. One can only show how one came to hold whatever opinion on does hold.”
“Much of what I have said in obedience to my promise to give you the course of my thoughts will seem out of date”
“She [Mary Beton] has tried to lay bare the thoughts and impressions that led her to think this.”
"The Truth" Pt.2
"What is meant by “reality”? It would seem to be something very erratic, very undependable-- now to be found in a dusty road, now in a scrap of newspaper in the street, now a daffodil in the sun. It lights up a group in a room and stamps some casual saying. It overwhelms one walking home beneath the stars and makes the silent world more real than the world of speech -- and then there it is again in an omnibus in the uproar of Piccadilly.”
Narrative device that attempts to give the written equivalent of the character's thought processes, either in a loose interior monologue, or in connection to his or her actions.
Stream of Consciousness
S.O.C + Relevance to thesis
1. Pursuit of Truth
2. The Meals
1.Pursuit of Truth
“If truth is not to be found on the shelves of the British Museum, where, I asked myself, picking up a notebook and a pencil, is truth? Thus provided, thus confident and enquiring, I set out in the pursuit of truth.The day, though not actually wet, was dismal,and the streets in the neighborhood of the Museum were full of open coal-holes, down which sacks were showering; four wheeled cabs were drawing up and depositing on the pavement corded boxes containing,...”
“one opened a volume of the catalogue, and the five dots here indicate five separate minutes of stupefaction, wonder and bewilderment.Have you any notion of how many books are written about women in the course of one year?”
2. The Meals
" the lunch on this occasion began with soles, sunk in a deep dish,over which the college cook had spread a counterpane of the whitest cream, save that it was branded here and there with brown spots like the spots on the flanks of a doe. After that came the partridges, but if this suggests a couple of bald,brown birds on a plate you are mistaken. The partridges, many and various, came with all their retinue of sauces and salads,the sharp and the sweet, each in its order; their potatoes, thin as coins but not so hard; their sprouts, foliated as rosebuds but more succulent.”
"Here was my soup. Dinner was being served in the great dining-hall. Far from being spring it was in fact an evening in October. Everybody was assembled in the big dining-room. Dinner was ready. Here was the soup. It was a plain gravy soup.There was nothing to stir the fancy in that. One could have seen through the transparent liquid any pattern that there might have been on the plate itself. But there was no pattern. The plate was plain."
"Prunes and custard followed.And if anyone complains that prunes, even when mitigated by custard, are an uncharitable vegetable (fruit they are not), stringy as a miser's heart and exuding a fluid such as might run in misers' veins who have denied themselves wine and warmth for eighty years and yet not given to the poor, he should reflect that there are people whose charity embraces even the prune. Biscuits and cheese came next, and here the water-jug was liberally passed round,for it is the nature of biscuits to be dry, and these were biscuits to the core. That was all. The meal was over.
“The river reflected whatever it chose of sky and bridge and burning tree, and when the undergraduate had oared his boat through the reflections they closed again, completely, as if he had never been. There one might have sat the clock round lost in thought. Thought—to call it by a prouder name than it deserved—had let its line down into the stream. It swayed, minute after minute, hither and thither among the reflections and the weeds, letting the water lift it and sink it, until—you know the little tug—the sudden conglomeration of an idea at the end of one's line: and then the cautious hauling of it in, and the careful laying of it out? Alas, laid on the grass how small, how insignificant this thought of mine looked; the sort of fish that a good fisherman puts back into the water so that it may grow fatter and be one day worth cooking and eating. “
“ It was thus that I found myself walking with extreme rapidity across a grass plot. Instantly a man’s figure rose to intercept me.Nor did I at first understand that the gesticulations of a curious-looking object, in a cut-away coat and evening shirt, were aimed at me.His face expressed horror and indignation. Instinct rather than reason came to my help, he was a Beadle; I was a woman. This was the turf; there was the path. Only the Fellows and Scholars are allowed here; the gravel is the place for me.Such thoughts were the work of a moment. As I regained the path the arms of the Beadle sank, his face assumed its usual repose, and though turf is better walking than gravel, no very great harm was done. The only charge I could bring against the Fellows and Scholars of whatever the college might happen to be was that in protection of their turf, which has been rolled for 300 years in succession they had sent my little fish into hiding."
Why did Virginia Woolf choose S.O.C as her narrative style?
Name two food items described in the 2 meals
What exactly does Virginia Woolf mean by sending her "little fish into hiding"?