Virginia Woolf's Jacob's Room - Jacob Flanders, Many Things to Many Readers

analytical Essay
4385 words
4385 words

Virginia Woolf's Jacob's Room - Jacob Flanders, Many Things to Many Readers Listless is the air in an empty room, just swelling the curtain; the flowers in the jar shift. One fibre in the wicker arm- chair creaks, though no one sits there. - Jacob's Room The year 1922 marks the beginning of High Modernism with the publications of T. S. Eliot's The Wasteland, James Joyce's Ulysses, and Virginia Woolf's Jacob's Room. Woolf's novel, only her third, is not generally afforded the iconic worship and critical praise so often attached to those works of her most famous male contemporaries. Jacob's Room is seldom suggested as one of Woolf's best fiction; the novel has not generated the same encomia as her recognized masterpieces Mrs. Dalloway, Between the Acts, and The Waves. But Jacob's Room is indeed a revolutionary work in its original technical mastery, its mournful historicity, and its evocative tone. The novel is Woolf's manifesto in fiction of her unique enterprise to create character beyond the one-to-one mimetic method of conventional Victorian and Edwardian realism. Uniquely self-conscious and conscious of self, Woolf was attracted to exploring new modes of characterization, fictional consciousness, and epistemology. She is especially interested in exploring the nature, communication, and limits of fictional knowledge. Woolf's idiosyncratic mode of characterization in Jacob's Room is the epistemological complement in fiction to Eliot's formula for emotional expression in poetry, the objective correlative. While Eliot's description of the ideal artistic technique tries to be concise and formulaic, a direct mimetic correspondence, Woolf's technique is symbolic and metaphoric, collective, indefinite, and infinitely more ... ... middle of paper ... ...Merry. "Virginia Woolf's Between the Acts: Fascism in the Heart of England." Virginia Woolf Miscellanies: Proceedings of the First Annual Conference on Virginia Woolf. Ed. by Mark Hussey and Vara Neverow-Turk. Lanham, MD: Pace University Press, 1992. pp. 188-191. Ruddick, Sara. "Private Brother, Public World." New Feminist Essays on Virginia Woolf. Ed. by Jane Marcus. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1981. pp. 185-215. Schug, Charles. The Romantic Genesis of the Modern Novel. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1979. Woolf, Virginia. The Essays of Virginia Woolf. Volume III. 1919-1924. Ed. by Andrew McNeillie. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1988. -----. Jacob's Room. New York: The Penguin Group, 1998. -----. The Letters of Virginia Woolf. Volume II. 1912-1922. Ed. by Nigel Nicholson. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1976.

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes how woolf's novel is a revolutionary work of her unique enterprise to create character beyond the one-to-one mimetic method of conventional victorian and edwardian realism.
  • Analyzes how woolf's style matured between the 1915 and 1917 publication of the voyage out, and her experimental short stories of the late 1910s and jacob'
  • Analyzes how woolf was anxious about her novel's critical reception because of her radical experimentation in the work and its departure from the fictional conventions of bennet and wells.
  • Analyzes how woolf subtly passes responsibility for the creation of character to the reader.
  • Analyzes how woolf sought to achieve characterization beyond the limits of the one-to-one correspondence of realism.
  • Analyzes how woolf's radical approach to characterization demands the direct experience of reality as the only possible way of knowing meaning.
  • Analyzes how woolf's fiction is concerned with narrative techniques in general and is often narration about modes of narration, or metanarrative.
  • Analyzes how woolf achieves greater expression of character through negative presence. jacob's character is most fully articulated by examining the space which remains in his absence.
  • Opines that the columns and the temple remain; the emotion of the living breaks fresh on them year after year.
  • Analyzes how jacob is defined more by his absence than his presence, a divergence in space and time. the coughing sheep underscores the crisis of masculine identity and historical and civilizational progress that symbolically ended with the great war.
  • Analyzes how woolf's method is to offer parts to the reader to collect and construct into a meaningful whole.
  • Describes the letters of virginia woolf. volume ii. 1912-1922. ed. by nigel nicholson. new york: harcourt brace jovanovich, 1976.
  • Analyzes how the air in an empty room is listless, just swelling the curtain, the flowers shift, and the wicker arm-chair creaks, though no one sits there.
  • Analyzes how woolf's technique for characterization in jacob’s room is metaphorical and symbolic rather than metonymic and mimetic.
  • Analyzes how the narrative consciousness's indeterminancy and ambivalence render any reading of jacob through these objects problematic.
  • Analyzes how woolf multiplies the sites of meaning through her narrator's placement of jacob in time.
  • Argues that woolf is one of several modernist writers who carry on the romantic tradition which supremes the individual consciousness and its communicability.
  • Explains that virginia woolf and postmodernism: literature in quest & question itself.
  • Cites kiely, robert, and little, judy. "jacob's room and roger fry: two studies in still life."
  • Cites pawlowski, merry, ruddick, marcus, schug, charles, and mcneillie. virginia woolf's between the acts: fascism in the heart of england.
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