William Woolf 's The Mark On The Wall Essay

William Woolf 's The Mark On The Wall Essay

Length: 1172 words (3.3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

“Perhaps it was the middle of January in the present that I first looked up and saw the mark on the wall” (Woolf 1).
-- Narrator

The narrator opens the story by trying to recall the specific instance of when they saw the reputed “mark on the wall.” They reflect back to the moment, hypothesizing that it was January—late winter, perhaps evening time after tea. They were smoking a cigarette, reading a book in front of the fire and echoing back to childhood fantasy. The narrator recaptures the moment—the way the fire reflected yellow upon her book, the chrysanthemums on her mantle piece, and how in her mind the burning coals remind her of the crimson flag of the red knights “riding up the side of the black rock.” The mark interrupts this thought process, bringing the speaker to halt in her “fancy” and launching the story into a whirlwind of cognizance (Woolf 1). Virginia Woolf’s 1921 version of The Mark on the Wall is filled with carefully worded metaphor that provides a perfectly painted picture of her thought process. Modernist ideals are woven through vivid imagery pertaining to the chaos of life and the mystery of what comes after, as well as the nature of war and its masculine qualities. She relies upon the natural world and complex sentences heavy used to effectively reflect her train of thought, directing readers in a multiplicity of directions before returning to her point of origin: the mark. The narrator, whom we may assume is Virginia Woolf herself, reflects inward, using the mark on the wall not only as a focal point for her stream of conscious, but as a paintbrush to illustrate her thoughts.
Woolf specifically emphasizes color and nature in her writing, taking special care in specifying that the mark is “black upon th...

... middle of paper ...

...sely the mark is. In between, Woolf focuses on reality and nature, emphasizing color on multiple occasions to enhance the vibrancy of her literary style. In the end, as a second figure makes an appearance, the narrator gets her answer. It isn’t a hole or the remnants of a rose, nor the jutting head of a nail. As it so happens, the inspiration behind the narrator’s thought process is all due to a small, inconsequential snail, made important only by the catalytic qualities it has on Woolf’s prose (Woolf 16).

Works Cited
Parker, Raetta. "The Meaning of Colors." OnCourse. Indiana University. Web. 9 May 2016. .

Reece, Steve. "Homer 's Asphodel Meadow." Greek, Roman, and Byzantine Studies. Duke University, 2007. Web. 8 May 2016. .

Woolf, Virginia. "8. The Mark on the Wall. Woolf, Virginia. 1921. Monday or Tuesday." Bartleby.com. W.W. Norton, n.d. Web. 8 May 2016. .

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying and in Virginia Woolf’s A Mark on the Wall - Subjective Narrative

- William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying and in Virginia Woolf’s A Mark on the Wall - Subjective Narratives in Modernist Texts Like many other modernist texts, William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying employs many unreliable narrators to reveal the progression of the novel. One of the most interesting of these narrators is the youngest Bundren child, Vardaman. Like the rest of his family, Vardaman is mentally unstable, but his condition is magnified due to this lack of understanding of life and death....   [tags: As I Lay Dying Essays]

Strong Essays
1527 words (4.4 pages)

Insights on The Mark on the Wall by Virginia Wolf Essay

- The minds of men and women are considered the same, but what is in them is what makes them different. Everything from the ways they think, the reasons they think, and how they can think, are in in different ways, but their minds share one thing, the ideas of freedom. Some people in relationships consider their opposite spouse to be complicated, confusing, and more, maybe its because of their freedom. Virginia Woolf wrote The Mark on the Wall and provides what a woman might think compared to a man....   [tags: imagination, minds, christians]

Strong Essays
1328 words (3.8 pages)

Mrs. Dalloway By William Woolf Essay

- Early twentieth century author Virginia Woolf was fixated on the ideas of philosophy and time. Woolf believed that people were only here for a short period of time. She also believed that everyone’s life was made up of moments. Those moments could either be expanded upon or pass by; once a moment passes by, then it is gone forever. When a moment is expanded upon, then that means the moment feels as though it is more than just a second. That moment holds a special meaning or event. Woolf often incorporated these ideas about the temporality of time into her works; it is most apparent in her novel, Mrs....   [tags: Mrs Dalloway, Virginia Woolf, Time, Strike action]

Strong Essays
1480 words (4.2 pages)

The Lighthouse By Virginia Woolf Essay

- Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse is a novel dedicated to human emotion and humanity’s innate yearn for interpersonal connection. Woolf’s novel shows how we humans relate and react to the world around us- how we feel about the events we experience, what we perceive about the people we so desperately want to feel close to, and how raw human connection can help us find purpose in our live. Whether it is Mrs. Ramsay tirelessly working to aid her husband in his war against himself or Mrs. McNab contemplating the lives of the people she cleans after, all the characters in Woolf’s novel lack human closeness and try to find that closeness through interpreting what those around them experience....   [tags: Emotion, Marriage, Love, Virginia Woolf]

Strong Essays
1364 words (3.9 pages)

Mrs. Dalloway By Virginia Woolf Essay

- The novel Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf talks about a day of the main character named Clarissa Dalloway and the story about other people around her. One thing that I find significantly about the novel is there are two different stories about two people, a comparison of the female character Clarissa Dalloway versus Septimus Warren Smith, a shell-shocked solider that has mentally issues. Virginal Woof has successfully created a contrast between these two characters and moreover, Woolf has used several imageries and also symbolisms in the novel in order to help amplify the contrasts....   [tags: Mrs Dalloway, Virginia Woolf, World War I]

Strong Essays
1012 words (2.9 pages)

The Wall Essay

- The Wall Naomi Shemer wrote in her famous song “Jerusalem of Gold” that “some people have hearts of stone, and yet the Western wall embodies stones that reverberate with the hearts of men.” Nestled deep inside a country that is a hotbed of emotion is a wall of stones that is a depot for the most intense passions of men. It is here that men and women bring their greatest joys. It is here that men and women bring their most profound grief. This place is a lightning rod for raw emotions of all sorts....   [tags: Wailing Wall]

Strong Essays
934 words (2.7 pages)

Essay about Review of William Greider's The Choice of Wall Street

- Review of William Greider's The Choice of Wall Street “The Choice of Wall Street,” is the title of the first chapter in William Greider’s 1987 book, “Secrets of The Temple: How the Federal Reserve Runs the Country.” This chapter is basically the story of how and why Paul Volcker was chosen to be the new Federal Reserve Chairman. It all started in 1979 when President Jimmy Carter took a trip to Camp David with his most trusted advisers, the purpose of which was to decide on the course of action that needed to be taken to regain popular support so that he had a chance to win the upcoming Presidential election....   [tags: William Greider Inflation Economics Essays]

Strong Essays
1163 words (3.3 pages)

Analysis of Mrs. Dalloway by – Virginia Woolf Essay

- Analysis of Mrs. Dalloway by – Virginia Woolf Mrs. Dalloway, published in 1925, is a romantic drama with deep psychological approaching in to the world of urban English society in the summer of 1923, five years after the end of World War I. The book begins in the morning with the arrangements for a party Clarissa Dalloway will give and it ends late in the evening when the guests are all leaving. There are many flashbacks to tell us the past of each character, but it does not leave the range of those few hours....   [tags: Play Woolf MRS Dalloway]

Strong Essays
1456 words (4.2 pages)

Issues in Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway Essay

- Issues in Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway revolves around several of the issues that preoccupied the Bloomsbury writers and thinkers as a group. Issues of androgyny, class, madness, and mythology run throughout the novel. While that is hardly an exhaustive list, these notions seem to form the core of the structure of the novel. Woolf herself, when envisioning the project, sought to produce “a study of insanity and suicide, the world seen by the sane and the insane side by side.” This issue of madness, in particular, gives the novel its form as we follow the twinned lives of Septimus Warren Smith and Clarissa Dalloway....   [tags: Woolf]

Strong Essays
624 words (1.8 pages)

Essay on Virginia Woolf

- Virginia Woolf Virginia Woolf was born in London, as the daughter of Julia Jackson Duckworth, a member of the Duckworth publishing family, and Sir Leslie Stephen, a literary critic, a friend of Meredith, Henry James, Tennyson, Matthew Arnold, and George Eliot, and the founder of the Dictionary of National Biography. Leslie Stephen's first wife had been the daughter of the novelist William Makepeace Thackeray. His daughter Laura from the first marriage was institutionalized because of mental retardation....   [tags: Author Writer Biography Woolf]

Free Essays
1700 words (4.9 pages)