Virginia Woolf's Short Story, A Haunted House
Length: 412 words (1.2 double-spaced pages)
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The short story "A Haunted House" is story with meaning, by portraying to us
the treasure of life. When two ghosts are searching through their old house,
looking for their "Treasure", the treasure or meaning is revealed to us. The
joy and love shared between two people is the treasure, the treasure of life.
By using irony and stream of consciousness Virginia Woolf is able to reveal the
meaning of the story.
Virginia Woolf uses a style called the "Stream of Consciousness", revealing
the lives of her characters by revealing their thoughts and associations. We
learn about the ghosts past by seeing what they thoughts and associated with
there pasts. For example when they were discussing death she put " "Here we
slept," she said. And he adds, "Kisses without number." "Waking in the morning_"
"Silver between the trees." "Upstairs-" "In the garden-" "When summer came-" "In
the winter snowtime-" "( A Haunted House Pg. 321). This quote shows us what
places and actions the ghosts associate with there joy and love. Using stream
of consciousness gives us a better feeling of what the characters are going
through, which in turn gives us a better understanding of the meaning.
We also see the use of irony, using a word or phrase to mean the exact
opposite of its literal or normal meaning. The irony is that the story is
titled "A Haunted House" which made us think that the house was an evil place.
The house ends up being where every thing good happens. The ghosts did not
haunt the people , instead they make them realize the treasure they have. By
seeing how much the ghosts valued finding their treasure it makes the people
take a harder look at what their treasure is, the love and joy they share. It
is very evident when she says " Now they found it, one would be certain,
stopping the pencil on the margin. And then, tired of reading, one might rise
and see for one self"(A Haunted House Pg. 321). The irony draws use in by
making us think that we are about read a trivial ghost story, but instead, gives
us a deeper and more meaningful interpretation of ones life.
By Virginia Woolf's use of streaming consciousness and irony she is rather
dramatically able to portray her thoughts on the meaning of "A Haunted House".
That the joy and love shared between two people is the treasure of life.