Analysis Of Virginia Woolf's To The Lighthouse

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Through the tone, syntax, and figurative language Virginia Woolf uses in a passage from To The Lighthouse, the woman is depicted as a nervous artist who demonstrates great hesitation in beginning her creation for fear of making the wrong decision; this attitude toward artistic creation can be extrapolated to also include similar anxiety and fear in making other decisions in life. Through a shift in tone and the syntax, Woolf establishes an attitude suggesting the woman is very nervous about making the wrong decision in crafting her creations, and Woolf’s use of the extended metaphor aided in relating this hesitation to other aspects of life. Through these figurative devices, Woolf emphasizes the fear of American woman to truly express themselves, …show more content…
As the woman prepares to begin her painting, she is very apprehensive as to how she should begin. As the woman stands there, looking “blankly at the canvas, with its uncompromising stare” (Woolf 11/12), she did not know where to start. She knew she must begin; she knew the first mark must be made. However, in that moment as she stared at her canvas, an action that “seemed simple became in practice immediately complex” (36/37). This uncertainty is rather ironic as the painting this woman is about to create is a creative piece, and, therefore, she cannot make a “wrong” stroke when constructing it; the painting comes from her imagination, so no one can say her strokes are wrong. Eventually, the woman musters enough confidence to make her first stroke, thus signifying the change from uncertainty to decisiveness. She made her first stroke, and then her second stroke, and then her third. As she began to paint, her strokes portrayed a “dancing rhythmical movement, as if the pauses were one part of the rhythm and the strokes another” (48-50). Once the woman is able to overcome her fear of making the wrong decision and take a risk with her first stroke, she is able to make a blank white canvas into something so much

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