Virginia Woolf's Technique of Writing the Short Story Which Makes It Unique from Other Stories

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Virginia Woolf’s “The Mark on the Wall”

Virginia Woolf’s “The mark on the wall’’ is about a mark which the narrator sees on the wall as she sits smoking cigarettes after tea and what goes on in her mind as she tries to discover what the mark actually is. The story is told in the first person narrative and the writer employs the stream of consciousness narrative technique, which allows us to go into the mind of the character. The plot of the story is neither linear like in Allen Poe’s “The Black Cat’’, where there is a sequential arrangement of events in the story, nor like the non-linear plot as in Nadine Godimer’s “The Moment before The Gun Went Off’’, where the story starts in media res, then goes to the beginning, tells us what occurred before the story began using narrative flashbacks, then the resolution in a flash-forward. In “The Mark on the Wall‘’ the plot of the story follows a different pattern. There is a shift from one event to the other. These sequences of events are not interrelated, that is, they are arranged according to how they emotionally affect the narrator. For example, in the third paragraph, the narrator tries to figure out what causes that mark to be formed on the wall: “I don’t believe it was made by a nail after all; it’s too big, too round, for that”. Then, concluding she cannot tell how the mark was formed, she starts talking about the mysteries and uncertainties of life and man’s powerlessness over life. In Nadine Godimer’s “The Moment before The Gun Went Off”, she uses techniques such as contrast, irony, suspense, narrative flash-forward, flashback for example, to tell us what happened on the hunting trip Marais went on with Lucas, and to heighten tension, increase anxiety and bring out the conflicts between the Black society and that of the whites at the time; between the society and women, apart from the conflict that is between Marais and himself. The plot in “The Mark on The Wall” has an...
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