When discussing one of the most well-known novels written by Virginia Woolf, I would like to disclose some fundamentals of her production. First of all, I would like to point out that the techniques the author uses seem to be defensive, as Woolf is known for her feminist views.
In other words, one is to keep in mind that the expressions of anger the author highlights in her novel are related to three issues. Thus, it should be pointed out that aggression in relation to the patriarchy; the aggression male characters express; and Mrs. Ramsay’s aggression are considered to be the key manifestations of anger. Generally, it is also necessary to clarify what reason of the author’s aggression and anger is.
Thus, on the one hand, it seems that Virginia’s description of her parents is negative; however, on the other hand, a deep analysis of the novel gives us an opportunity to suppose that there are no parents who cause the author’s anger, but the oppressive patriarchal system the main characters live within.
When speaking about the language and writing style the author uses, one is to keep in mind that affective and non-semantic qualities of language are rather complicated. Thus, Woolf mostly uses numerous passive constructions, and the pronoun one in her novel.
The extraordinary sentence structure the author uses cannot be neglected too. For instance, when reading the second paragraph of the novel, (a description of Mrs. Ramsay), one can make a conclusion that the writer’s language is also based on numerous parenthetical phrases, clauses as well as modifying constructions.
The gruff murmur, irregularly broken by the taking out of pipes and the putting
in of pipes which had kept on assuring her, though she could not hear what
was said (as she sat in the window which opened on the terrace), that the men were happily talking; this sound, which had lasted now half an hour and had taken its place soothingly in the scale of sounds pressing on top of her, such as the tap of balls upon bats, the sharp, sudden bark now and then, “How’s that? How’s that?” of the children playing cricket, had ceased…. (Woolf 15)
It is not the end of the sentence; generally, this sentence includes 260 words; so, it is obvious that the author’s language is rather difficult to understand. While reading the paragraph, the reader loses the full meaning of the sentence and cannot understand its importance.
On the contrary, such complex constructions transform potentially clear meaning of the fragment into uncertain and delayed meaning. When analyzing Woolf’s language, particularly the second paragraph, it becomes obvious that the words the gruff murmur at the beginning of the sentence determine the main clause.
Other descriptions are considered to be modifying phrases. Had ceased is recognized to be the main verb; however, all, which is placed between the words the gruff murmur and had ceased confuses our mind, as when analyzing emotional associations between the main clause and the main verb, the reader loses the thread of a story. That is why Virginia Woolf’s language is rather complicated.
In spite of the fact that the author’s language is quite complex, nobody will deny the fact that Woolf depicts not only external details, but also important inner feelings of her characters. Thus, she discloses the thoughts and ideas in people’s mind. The novel To the Lighthouse requires the readers’ attention, as the author depicts the current drama of a human existence.
Woolf, Virginia. To the Lighthouse, Fort Washington, PA, Harvest Books: 1989. Print.