Virginia Woolf's The Mark On The Wall

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Virginia Woolf, a remarkable woman writer, whose name is frequently paired with that of James Joyce, is regarded as a skilled exponent of the stream of consciousness technique in English literature of 20th century. Greatly in¬fluenced by Henry James, Virginia Woolf works on the ex¬periment and innovation of novel writing. And she is considered the founder of psychological realist. She disliked the traditional way of novel writing and rebelled against some of the established contemporary British novelists, including Arnold Bennett, John Galsworthy and H. G. Wells. She called them “materialism”, because “they are concerned not with the spirit but with the body”, “that they write of unimportant things: that they spend immense skill and immense…show more content…
In it, Woolf talks about the heroine’s reveries when she notices a mark on the wall of her sitting room. About what the mark really is, her trains of thought jump from one thing to another. First of all, she thinks that the mark must have been made by a nail for a minia¬ture of a lady, and imagines the lady ’ s taste and the rea¬son of her moving why her moving away. But then she suddenly doubts her speculation and thinks “if I got up and looked at it, ten to one I shouldn’t be able to say for certain; because once a thing’s done, one ever knows how it happened.” At the moment, the heroine thinks of life and the world, and cannot help signing with feeling that life is full of accidents and disorders: “Oh , dear me , the mystery of life; the inaccuracy of thought! The ignorance of humanity! ” Then, the heroine returns to the mark on the wall again, thinking, “ it may be caused by some round black substance, such as a small rose leaf left over from the summer “. Following that, a series of associations occur to her—Shakespeare, the reign of Charles the First, Sunday afternoon walks, etc. And “In certain lights that mark on the wall seems actually to project from the wall “, which subsequently makes her think of tombs. However, not very long the heroine comes to be deeply sunk into another series of free imagination, and what is more, she even thinks of an antiquary, a re¬tired colonel and foot of a Chinese murderess at the local museum, etc. Constantly stimulated by the particular ex¬ternal stimulus, the heroine opens up the world of specula¬tion and wild imagination. And sometimes she even does so by daring to deny the importance of long established convention, such as, which archbishop is followed by which archbishop, therefore “ let Nature comfort you ”. But, after all, the heroine feels she must learn what on earth the mark on the wall
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