Sunday, April 7, 2019
Reading of the modernists involved such a process of disturbance Essay Example for Free
Reading of the modernists involved such(prenominal) a process of haphazardness EssayModernist writers disturbed their readers by adopting analyzable and difficult raw forms and styles. To what extent has your yarn of the modernists involved such a process of disturbance?Modernist publications flaunts difficult, often aggressive or disruptive, forms and styles it frequently ch each(prenominal)enges traditional true-to- invigoration(prenominal) style and is sheathised by a rejection of 19th century traditions. Literary modernism foc uses on breaking external from rules and conventions, searching for new perspectives and points of mentation, experimenting in form and style. It breaks up and disturbs the settled state of literature and idiomes a re-structuring of literature and the last of rattlingity it represents. Although art almodal respects attempts to imitate or represent veridicality, what changed was the understanding of what constitutes reality, and how tha t reality could beaver be represented.Modernist literature is marked by a break with the sequential, developmental, cause-and-effect founding of the reality of realist fiction, to wards a presentation of experience as layered, allusive, and discontinuous using, to these ends, fragmentation and juxtaposition, motif, symbol, allusion.From era to measure in that location occurs some revolution, or jerky mutation of form and study in literature. Then, some way of writing which has been practiced for a genesis or more, is found by a few man-sized number to be taboo of date, and no longitudinal to respond to contemporary modes of thought, feeling and speechtradition has been flouted, and chaos has generate.1This process of disturbance clear be seen in the experimentation in form in order to present differently the anatomical structure, the connections, and the experience of life. The tightening of form puts an emphasis on cohesion, interrelatedness and depth in the structu re of the raw. This is accomplished in part by and through the use of various devices such as symbolism, narrative perspectives, shifts and overlays in era and show up and perspective.Woolf uses these methods to explore what lies outside the precondition of the real. Woolf draws on an intragroup and symbolic landscape the man is travel inside, structured symbolically and metaphorically, as contradictory to the realist representations of the exterior world as a physical and historical, site of experience.The painter Jacques Raverat wrote in a balance wheel to WoolfThe chore with writing is that it is essentially linear it is almost impossible, in a sequential narrative, to express the way cardinals mind responds to an idea, a word or an experience, where, like a pebble cosmos thrown in to a pond, splashes in the outer air are accompanied under the surface by waves that follow one another into dark and forgotten corners2Woolf felt it was precisely the task of the writer t o go beyond a linear representation of reality in order to show how people think and dream. Rather than deliver her characters from point A to point B, Woolf gives the impression of simultaneous connections a form patterned like waves in a pond. She reveals what is grave around her characters by exploring their minds and the thoughts of those surrounding them. Such explorations lead to complex connections among people, amid retiring(a) and present, and surrounded by interior and exterior experience. Woolf establishes these connections through metaphors and buildry, and structures the fabrication using alternating images of beauty and despair, fervor and melancholy. These juxtapositions suggest two the impulse towards life and the impulse towards death, which makes the process of reading disconcerting and recondite.Woolf dispensed with ceremonious beginnings and endings, and the traditional structure of events in time, for example, Mrs Dalloway tells close to one days ex periences for two characters whose lives are not machine-accessible with each other, except by the s inflameest coincidence at the end. Woolf uses perceived time interwoven with clock time to progress to a simultaneous experience of past and present. The scene is capital of the United Kingdom after(prenominal) the war, but besides Bourton thirty years ago. In this commingling of time, the past exists on its own and in its relations to the present. Time is propeld into the interior as well it becomes psychological time, time as an innerly experienced or symbolic time, or time as it accommodates a symbolic rather than a chronological reality.Examining the intersection of time and timelessness, Woolf bring ons a new and disturbing novelistic structure in Mrs. Dalloway wherein her prose has blurred the distinction between dream and reality, between the past and present. An au indeedtic sympathetic being functions in this manner, simultaneously flowing from the conscious to the un conscious, from the fantastic to the real, and from memory to the second. end-to-end Mrs Dalloway the focus continually shifts from the external world to the characters consciousness and how they perceive it. This has the disquieting effect of back foundation garment observable reality so the details emerge more slowly than when they are presented by an omniscient narrator. However, the capital of the United Kingdom setting is established immediately, the streets and landmarks are real, this verisimilitude of setting seems to give the characters a solidity which is juxtaposed with the fluidness of the depiction of the characters thought processes. Mrs Dalloway supposes that somehow in the streets of London, on the ebb and flow of things, here, in that respect, she survived3The fact that the narrative takes place on a specific date is disclosed more gradually than the setting is, for example, Clarissa thinks For it was the middle of June. The war was over4 and thus the narrator tells us it is Wednesday on page fifteen. Later still Peter Walshs thoughts reveal that it is 19235. in that respect are overly references to Gold cup day at Ascot so by naming a specific year Woolf turns what could have been a fictional fact in to a real one.Woolf implies a concept of time as a series of life conjunctures rather than impersonal. These are established by the presence of sensory phenomena in different contexts such as the sound of Big Ben, the common perceptions among uncorrelated observers, for instance, the prime ministers car. Also, by convergences at occasions of group activities as in Clarissas party.Time seems relativistic in the mother wit it depends on systems of measurement.The clocks divide the day into quarter hours. The loud voice of Big Ben is associated with the masculine. It is set forth as a young man, strong, indifferent, inconsiderate, were swinging dumb-bells this way and that6. It marks the movements of the two doctors, Peter Walsh and Sir Ri chard as they move through their day, making pronouncements.St Margarets on the other hand is the feminine. It follows Big Bens booming leaden circles with ring after ring of sound that glides into the heart like a hostess, like Clarissa herself7 thinks Peter Walsh as he hears St Margarets strip sound.Furthermore, The clocks divide time into a pattern,Shredding and slicing, dividing and subdividing, the clocks of Harley Street nibbled at the June day, counselled submission, upheld authority, and pointed out in refrain the supreme advantages of a sense of proportion8The ringing of the clock bells radiates from the centre of the city. The sound creates a design in the texture of the narrative, slicing through the characters subjective experience of time and contrasting this with objective, exterior time.In To The beacon fire many of the characters are preoccupied with time. Mr. Ramsay worries about how his philosophical work pull up stakes stand the test of time, meet as Lily exp ects her painting to be rolled up and forgotten. The very style of the novel brings time into mind as Woolf infuses even a brief heartbeat in an everyday event, such as reading a story to a child, with an infinitude of thought and memory 9 Meanwhile days, tides, and seasons keep up their rhythms regardless of human events, while historical time brings cataclysmic change in the form of war. In addition, time brings loss as well as renewal. Mrs. Ramsay dies, while the children she has left behind continue to grow.In To the beacon fire Woolf depicts two contrasting kinds of time, the linear and regular plodding of clock or objective time, and the reiterative, non-linear time of human experience. Her depiction of subjective time, layered and complex was, critics have observed, not unlike that of the philosopher Henri Bergson, though on that point is no evidence of any direct influence.It is in the Time Passes section of the novel that Woolfs interest in the contrasting forms of temp orality is most evident. The narrative style of this part is very unusual and is unlike that of split I and III. Its effort to narrate from what Woolf called an middleless point of view is strange, it is as if she is thinking of the philosophical problem, the problem with which Mr Ramsay grapples in the novel, of how to think of the world when there is no one there. This is translated into an artistic problem, of how to narrate the passage of time when there is no one there to witness it.The casing of events in Time Passes is much grander than the scale in The Window, indeed passim this section Woolf employs a different method and uses parenthetical asides to impart important news. Instead of focusing on the thoughts of her characters, she keeps a tight focus on the house itself. Dramatic events such as Mrs. Ramsays death could not have been confronted in the style of The Window. as the subtle, everyday quality of the interactions between events and thoughts would have been dis turbed by the introduction of the tumultuous news imparted here.The airs in this section of the novel are like times fingers. The constant, regular beam of the pharos is closely allied with time, too, like an all-seeing and unending eye. Puffs of air detached from the body of the wind10 pull at the loose wallpaper and the things in the house, the light from the Lighthouse guiding them through the house.Natural time is seen as objective and inhuman, it is destructive and violent in the sense that it has no concern for human purposes. Woolfs solution to this problem is to invent a poetic style that, ironically, relies heavily upon the devices of personification and animism. The derrieres of the trees made obeisance on the wall, loveliness and stillness clasped hands in the bedroom, light readiness to its own image in adoration on the bedroom wall and in the heat of the pass the wind sent its spies about the house again11. It can be questioned whether these devices are successfu l. It is as if Woolf wishes to fill the vacuum of inhuman nature with primitive animistic entities and malign agencies. The solution can seem oddly childlike, personification and animism being, as Freud pointed out, typical of infantile thought12. The problem illustrates, perhaps, the difficulty of avoiding images of human agency even when they are to the lowest degree necessary.In Mrs Dalloway during sections of mind-time, Woolf sets various time streams loose at once, either in the mind of one character, who retreats into upcountry soliloquy, collapsing past, present and future, or in the simultaneous perspectives given by several characters recording a bingle moment. The result of either technique is that diagram time stands still.13 Time is not entirely subjective and malleable in this text, however. The novel does take place within a prescribed temporal context marked ominously by the booming of Big Ben First a warning, musical then the hour, irrevocable. The leaden circl es dissolve in the air. Throughout the novel this chronology is inescapable, cutting through the characters thoughts of the past to bring them back to the present momentAuerbach points out that To the Lighthouse marks the end of the Western tradition of realism. He argues that the novel employs a new fashion of temporality. It is the gap between the brief span of time occupied by exterior events, about two days in The Window, and the rich, dreamlike realm of consciousness. The exterior events actually lost the hegemony over subjectivity14. The novel proves the insignificance of exterior events by holding to minor, unimpressive things like stockings, while keeping in minimum the descriptions of such great events as death and marriage. To the Lighthouse is thus a disturbing turning point in literature because it discarded any claim to the organic completeness of exterior events and the chronological order.To The beacon light employs a non-linearity and thus counteracts narratives usua l form of depicting events in a continuous succession. Synchronicity, evident in the coexistence of multiple perspectives at the same temporal moment, disturbs the narratives attempt to render the story world as events in succession. And elision, evident in the stories within the story whose endings are invariably left dangling and incomplete, dissolves the narratives attempt to achieve completion. Together, these discordant methods counterbalance the naturalized unfolding of narrative. Woolfs novel employs these techniques of disruption in order to portray narrative continuity as an inescapable yet unattainable illusion.Plot is generated by the inner lives of the characters. Psychological effects are achieved through the use of imagery, symbol, and metaphor. Character unfolds by means of the ebb and flow of personal impressions, feelings, and thoughts. Thus, the inner lives of human beings and the common events in their lives are made to seem extraordinary. These complex and new methods that attempt to depict the chaotic interior life appear more jumbled and perplexing than the classical realist novel and so seem disturbing. However, Woolf is attempting to create a realistic account of the inner processes of the individuals mind and an expression of the continuous flow of sense perceptions, thoughts and feelings.Woolf besides employs the symbolic apprehension and comprehension of reality as a structural approach to experience. It marked a turning away from writing by observation to transforming fact into a symbol of inner experience. In her diary Woolf wroteWhat interests me in the last stage was the freedom and boldness with which my imagination picked up, employ and tossed aside all the images, symbols which I had prepared. I am sure this is the right way of using them-not in set piecesbut scarce as images, never making them work out only suggest 15To The Lighthouse assumes a structure similar to that found in the fictional scene of the painting. In a letter Woolf acknowledges the structure and its unifying symbol as enacted at the end. I meant energy by The Lighthouse. One has to have a central line down the middle of the book to hold the design together.16In To The Lighthouse the Lighthouse has a prominent but fluid symbolic place in the novel. It does not seem to be the key to some hidden allegory since it does not stand for just one thing, each character that contemplates the Lighthouse gives it a special meaning, its significance in the novel evolves as the sum of different parts.For the juvenile throng, the Lighthouse is a stark symbol of masculinity, a phallic symbol. For Mrs. Ramsay, the Lighthouse is a watching eye sweeping through her thoughts with a regular rhythm. To Woolf, the Lighthouse seems to serve as an anchor, a unifying image that ties together the layers of time and thought she explores. Like the clock striking the hours in Mrs. Dalloway, images of the Lighthouse act as the bolts of iron17 holding the diff erent strands of the novel together.The focus of the planned excursion is not named until page eight and from then onwards the Lighthouse always appears with a capital letter. It is conventional to capitalize words referring to abstractions, particularly in philosophical writing. This feature has the effect of elevating the significance of the place, as if Lighthouse were an abstract concept like loyalty or remainder.The Lighthouse makes its first appearance in the text in very lyrical terms. The domestic metaphors used to describe the scene, which are perhaps Mrs. Ramsays associations the island is in a plateful of blue water, and the dunes are place in pleats18. The first influence of the beacon fire is the description of Jamess excitement The wonder to which he had looked forward, for years and years19 The beacon light already seems to have gained a greater significance than its mere physical existence. It is an object of desire to James. However, his response to Mrs Ramsey s promise shows that there is a separation between his dream of happiness (going to the lighthouse) and his dull, everyday experience of life. Prosaically, the lighthouse is a real thing, yet James has made it into an unattainable dream, which he does not expect to come true.James seems to be in a crisis because there is a prospect that his ideal world and real world will become the same and he will go to the lighthouse. Therefore, the wondrous aura of the lighthouse is attached to mundane things. James endows a picture of a refrigerator with a heavenly bliss. It was fill up with joy20 this implies that fantasies bring relief from the dullness of everyday life, as long as there is the prospect that they will come true. However, James is one of that great clan21 who live for the future but if future ideals cloud the view of reality then there is an implicit suggestion that achieving ones desire presents a danger in that there would be nothing left to live for. Conversely, people mus t have some hope of achieving their ideal, or life would become futile.Woolfs symbol of the lighthouse expresses this paradoxical idea in that it represents both an idealised vision while also being a real lighthouse. It becomes a trigger, provoking the reader to think about the human tendency to live for a future fantasy, together with all the paradoxical emotions Woolf conveys as associated with that tendency.James looked at the Lighthouse. He could see the fair-washed rocks the tower, stark and straight he could see that it was barred with black and white he could see windows in it he could even see washing spread on the rocks to dry. So that was the Lighthouse, was it?No, the other was also the Lighthouse. For nothing was simply one thing. The other Lighthouse was true too22James compares the real and the ideal and decides that the Lighthouse can be both. He provides a useful key for deciphering the symbol of the Lighthouse, for nothing was simply one thing23. The Lighthouse i s the object of striving, some mystical, distant entity with an all-seeing eye. At the same time it is the human body of isolation and sadness, linked with Jamess desolate image of himself and his father as lonely and apart from other peopleThe fact that the Lighthouse is a frequent subject for artists adds to its symbolic import. The tightening of form puts an emphasis on cohesion, interrelatedness and depth in the structure, Woolf engages both the subject of art, Lily Briscoes painting, for example and the aim of philosophy, in Mr. Ramsays work.The Lighthouse was then a silvery, misty-looking tower with a yellow eye, that opened suddenly, and softly in the evening.24 Mrs. Ramsay incorporates the Lighthouses regularly appearing light into the pattern of her thoughts. She recognizes that she is doing this, that she is making the things she sees part of herself, as if the Lighthouse was an eye looking at her. The light strokes also serve to highlight certain cadences in her thought, heightening their meaning by repetitionThe parallels developing in this section between Lilys actions and reflections and the impending trip to the Lighthouse suggest that Lilys revelation, her moment of clarity and stability, is her own displacement of the Lighthouse, the thing toward which she has been striving 25.Woolf builds upon the same metaphors and imagery through repetition and association to give them symbolic value of their own. There are repetitions of key images water, waves, and sea webs, ties, and threads and trees through the novels.In Mrs Dalloway words are used in very certain terms in relation to life. They are used repeatedly throughout the rest of the novel, and built upon as metaphors until they stand alone to symbolize life. The sense of being absorbed in the process of action is inseparable from the fear of being excluded from it and from the dread that the process is going to be interrupted. The metaphor of the interrupter and the solemn pause, indicating a fear of being interrupted, are developed throughout the novel.Clarissas sewing is depicted in a rhythmic wave of building, creating, and making. These images recur throughout the novel as they gain symbolic significance. stitchery is a metaphor often used to denote womens creative capacity and symbolizes both artistry and the psychiatric hospital of life. The wave provides both a sense of calm and fulfillment, yet maintains a suspenseful pause in advance a crash or interruptionMrs. Dalloway has an unpleasant feeling she cannot place. After taking a moment to think, she realizes this feeling is attached to something Peter had said, combined with her own depression26. She realizes it is her parties. Her unpleasant feeling is attached to the criticism she receives from both Richard and Peter about her parties.Clarissa privately defends her parties. She sees them as an offering, a term she is able to recognize as unknown and goes on to define. She is offering a connection. She giv es meaning to life by feeling the existence of others and offering a way to bring them together, offering them a chance of connection.While sitting on the couch, Septimus notices a shadow on the wall. Fear no more the heat o the sun. This phrase, which acts as a calming device, enters his head. Suddenly, he is not afraid. He sits up and takes an interest in what Lucrezia is doing. She is making a hat. More significantly, she is creating and buildingRezias unveiling of the hat, like Clarissas sewing, symbolizes not only the creation of life, but also more specifically, the female ability to create life But this hat now. And then (it was getting late) Sir William Bradshaw27Woolf uses this one symbolic line as a metaphor for the transition from life, represented in the making of the hat and death, suggested by Bradshaw, the symbol of the souls containment and the character who in the end provides Septimus with the impetus to kill himself.Woolf uses a great deal of imagery her similes often begin as a straightforward comparison, which is then elaborated. This moves the ideas away from the physical reality of the narrative and towards mental events, emotions and ideas providing a bridge between the bandage and the interior consciousness of the characters. The reader is shown the dilemma of how to create a meaningful sequence and the impossible action of essentially finding an explicit formal system of how to represent objects and concepts, that are assumed to exist, and the relationships between them.The accumulative effect of such repeated notions and images is to establish a systematic network of social elements, such as, human time, space, shared symbols, personal relationships, so as to arrive at a vision of modern life on a national scale. This collective existence is apprehended internally, as its participants experience it.It is both the content and the form used to portray that content which makes reading a disturbing process. The question of the realit y of experience itself the critique of the traditional values of the culture the loss of meaning and hope in the modern world and the exploration of how this loss may be faced are all themes within Woolfs novels.Subject subject area and writing style are the two features that characterise Modernism and this applies to Mrs Dalloway. The themes of Woolfs novels express the angst of Modernism in a precise way and Mrs Dalloway exemplifies the conflict felt in the modern society that produces this angst. The conflict is played out between two forces, one that fragments and disperses social order and causes chaos, and a more stable impulse that looks for unity. octuple voices, fragmented narrative and stream of consciousness are the stylistic devices of Woolf that convey the themes of conflict, despair and escape in the novel. Mrs Dalloway can be seen as an attempt to critique modern life, however, the novel can seem overwhelmed by the chaos of characters struggling to find meaning in li fe when death is such a large presence.Another aspect of this novel that is Modernist and can be seen to be disturbing is its withdrawal from the epic novel, the larger historical or temporal frame found in the 19th century novel. In Mrs Dalloway, there is no organising logic from which to draw a secure and comfortable resolution to lifes get bys. The action or plot is restricted to a single day, no large epic journey is possible and while the struggle for life is apparent, there is nothing of the 19th century moral structure to contain and manage the outcomes.Death and despair overwhelm life and its purposes, the narrowness of life is suffocating, and lives are fragmented, anxious, disconnected and misrecognised.To The Lighthouse also undermines what were the conventional expectations attached to novels. Woolf speculated that she might be writing something other than a novel. I have an idea that I will invent a new name for my books to supplant novelBut what? Elegy?28 Her work ca n be seen as more poetry than fiction as it occupies itself with abstract ideas and experimentation more than with plot and character developmentWoolf throws into disorder readers expectations of how life can be represented within a novel, and she achieves this through seeking a new mode of expression. It is not that she rejects reality, but rather that she sought to develop a higher type of realism, as if more complex forms would allow for the depiction of a more complex and vivid understanding of reality.Bibliograph.Auerbach, Erich, Mimesis the representation of reality in Western literature / by Erich Auerbach translated from the German by Willard Trask. New York Doubleday/Anchor Books, 1957.Bell, Q, Virginia Woolf A Biography. London Hogarth Press, 1972.Eliot, T.S, American Literature and American Language in Selected Essays. London Faber, 1951.Fleishman, Avrom, Virginia Woolf A Critical Reading. Baltimore Johns Hopkins University Press, 1975.Lee, Hermione, The Novels of Virgini a Woolf. New York Holmes and Meier Publishers, 1977.Naremore, James, The World Without A Self. London Yale University Press, 1973.Schulze, Robin. G, Varieties of Mystical Experience in the literary works of Virginia Woolf in Twentieth Century Literature Vol.44. New York Hofstra University, 1998.Woolf, Virginia. A writers diary being extracts from the diary of Virginia Woolf change by Leonard Woolf. London, Hogarth Press, 1953.Woolf. Virginia, Mrs Dalloway. London Penguin, 1996.Woolf, Virginia, To The Lighthouse. London Penguin, 1992.1 Eliot, T.S, American Literature and American Language in Selected Essays. London Faber, 1951.p. 73.2 Lee, Hermione, The Novels of Virginia Woolf. New York Holmes and Meier Publishers, 1977. p.106.3 Woof, Virginia, Mrs Dalloway. London Penguin, 1996. p.8.4 ib. p.6.5 ib. p.55.6 ibidem p.35.7 Ibid. p.60.8 Ibid. p.75.9 Auerbach, Erich, Mimesis the representation of reality in Western literature / by Erich Auerbach translated from the German by Willard Trask. New York Doubleday/Anchor Books, 1957. p.529.10 Woolf, Virginia, To The Lighthouse. London Penguin, 1992, p.19011 Ibid. pp.137-139.12 Schulze, Robin. G, Varieties of Mystical Experience in the Writings of Virginia Woolf in Twentieth Century Literature Vol.44. New York Hofstra University, 1998. p.313 Naremore, James, The World Without A Self. London Yale University Press, 1973. p.71.14 Auerbach, Erich, Mimesis the representation of reality in Western literature / by Erich Auerbach translated from the German by Willard Trask. New York Doubleday/Anchor Books, 1957. pp. 351-35515 Woolf, Virginia. A writers diary being extracts from the diary of Virginia Woolf emended by Leonard Woolf. London, Hogarth Press, 1953. p.16916 Bell, Q, Virginia Woolf A Biography. London Hogarth Press, 1972. p.168.17 Woolf, Virginia, To The Lighthouse. London Penguin, 1992. p.5.18 Ibid. p.23.19 Ibid. p.7.20 Ibid. p.7.21 Ibid. p.7.22 Ibid. pp.276-277.23 Ibid. p.277.24 Ibid. p. 107.25 Ibid. 270.26 Woolf . Virginia, Mrs Dalloway. London Penguin, 1996. p.183.27 Ibid. p. 178.28 Woolf, Virginia. A writers diary being extracts from the diary of Virginia Woolf edited by Leonard Woolf. London, Hogarth Press, 1953. p.78.