Theories on Time: Einstein vs. Viriginia Woolf

Topics: Special relativity, General relativity, Spacetime Pages: 4 (1247 words) Published: May 15, 2007
What is time? According to Webster's Dictionary, time is a nonspatial continuum in which events occur in apparently irreversible succession from the past through the present to the future. There are two distinct views on what time really is. One view is that time is linear and part of the fundamental structure of the universe, a dimension in which events occur in sequence, and time itself is something that can be measured. The other is that time is part of the fundamental intellectual structure along with space and number in which events are sequenced by their duration and the intervals between them. In this view, time does not represent a flow of events that objects move through. In this research paper I will discuss the differences and similarities in the narrator's views on time with Einstein's.

In Virginia Woolf's short story, "The Mark on the Wall", the narrator's memory constantly shifts back and forth between the past and present. She observes past events like the election of high and present events like the war. This occurs when she tries to figure out what a mysterious mark on the wall is. Throughout the story she remains seated by a window. She refuses to get up and look at the mark because she felt as if it would take away the mystery of the mark. Then at the end when she's thinking about the war that‘s going on, she realized that the mark isn't a nail or reflection of light but a snail.

"Oh! dear me, the mystery of life! The inaccuracy of thought! The ignorance of humanity! To show how very little control of our possessions we have—what an accidental affair this living is after all our civilization—let me just count over a few of the things lost in one lifetime, beginning, for that seems always the most mysterious of losses I want to think quietly, calmly, spaciously, never to be interrupted, never to have to rise from my chair, to slip easily from one thing to another, without any sense of hostility, or obstacle." (Woolf, 3).

In Woolf's...
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