Modern Fiction

Topics: Mind, Consciousness, Thought Pages: 4 (1745 words) Published: September 4, 2013
Modernist literature is noticeably different as it is a movement away from the apparent objectivity provided by the fixed narrative points of view, omniscient third-person narration and obvious moral positions. Virginia Woolf, a modernist writer, wrote Modern Fiction in which she claims that the traditionalist novelists like H. G. Wells, Arnold Bennett and Galsworthy are ‘materialists’. Materialist are writers who believed that the great force that impacts an individual is the environment. On the other hand, a modernist writer emphasises on impressionism and subjectivity in writing and how opinions are formed, rather than on what is perceived. She also wrote in Modern Fiction her famous quote “Examine for a moment an ordinary mind on an ordinary day.” This quote can be defined as; one should examine how the imagination is the result of the everyday events, and how we use our imagination to bring meaning, colour, passion and drama to the ordinary occurrences of life. In this essay, I will examine three of Woolf’s short stories taken from “Monday or Tuesday”, to show her style of narration in “Kew Gardens”, the use of the stream of consciousness technique in “The mark on the wall” and her impressionistic writing style in “A haunted house”, are all successful in showing ordinary occurrences are relatable and makes the readers understand the story on their own. Successful in this sense would mean that Woolf would not have forced on the readers her ideas, but rather allow them to explore their mind while they read the story to gain an experience of understanding. Woolf’s style of narration allows readers to relate to the characters’ lives to gain deeper understanding of her story. At first glance, Kew Gardens may seem like a short story about the events that happen in a park, couples going by the flowerbed and the snail moving forward in it. However in actuality, Woolf was creating the juxtapositions between the moments of human interaction and the scenes of nature,...

References: 1) The Essays of Virginia Woolf. (1984). Modern Fiction. Retrieved from:
2) Great Books Online. (1999). Monday or Tuesday by Virginia Woolf. Retrieved from:
3) Great Books Online. (1999). Kew Gardens by Virginia Woolf. Retrieved from:
4) Great Books Online. (1999). The Mark on the Wall by Virginia Woolf. Retrieved from:
5) Great Books Online. (1999). A Haunted House by Virginia Woolf. Retrieved from:
6) Brown, Alistair. ELT379e: Topics in Modernism: Study Guide. Singapore: SIM University, 2013. Print.
7) Oxford English Dictionary. (2010). Stream of Consciousness. Retrieved from:
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