Essay on Virginia Woolf 's The Room

1128 Words Oct 9th, 2014 5 Pages
Few novelists have displayed such fervor for portraying the human condition as Virginia Woolf. Jacob’s Room, her 1922 Modernist novel, encapsulates her passion. As Woolf’s first truly experimental novel, it rejects convention and aspires to invent methods that better illuminate life’s essence; to exemplify, the text’s innovative inclusion of leitmotifs defies tradition, yet it elucidates the obscure. The novel’s leitmotifs, ostensibly interspersed randomly, demonstrate identity’s fluidity and how it both impedes and enriches communication. The repetition of Jacob’s name reflects how identity’s complexity forbids a coherent comprehension of the individual. During the novel’s opening scene, Archer, Jacob’s older brother, first, “shout[s],” the cryptic, “Ja—cob! Ja—cob!” (4) as he seeks his brother. Alone, the line remains mysterious, yet when Archer repeats, “Ja—cob! Ja—cob!” (5), within the same scene, it predicts the persistence with which characters will emotionally and physically search for Jacob. The line’s syntactical separation and the dramatic, desperation connotations that saturate, “shout,” create atmospheric isolation that, before the narrator even introduces Jacob, hints at his elusive personality. Additionally, as his most intimate relationship, Archer’s uncertainty of Jacob’s location mirrors his uncertainty of Jacob’s personality; however, contrary to a lack of psychological insight, it is Archer’s implied vast knowledge of Jacob, such as his inconsistencies…

Related Documents