Virginia Woolf (1882-1941)

Virginia Woolf also attempted to explore the consciousness of her characters. Like James Joyce, she was an aesthetic. She shows life “as it is”. She only depicts life. The characters, not the author, are shown as judging. “Mrs. Dalloway” (1925) gives a description of one day in June 1923 as it was experienced by Mrs. Dalloway. In “Orlando” (1928) Woolf presents a man character who begins as a man in the 16th century and ends as a woman in 1928, still only thirty-six years old. “The Waves” (1931) takes six characters at different points of their lives and shows how each is affected by the death of a person they all knew well. “To the Lighthouse” (1930) is considered to be her best novel, based on the depiction of her parents. The story begins with presenting a family on holiday in Scotland in September 1910. The youngest son, James Ramsay, wants to go by boat to the lighthouse, but is stopped by his father, and the novel ends with the same family in the same house ten years later. Now James goes to the lighthouse, but this time he hates his father for making him go as much as he earlier hated him for preventing it.

In Virginia Woolf’s stories plot is not of great importance. The readers’ attention is drawn by the inner monologues and the author’s extraordinary perception of the world. Her style of writing caused a stream of publications, though she was never popular with reading public.

Besides her novels Virginia Woolf wrote many critical studies on literature and other subjects.

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