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					EWC 4U0/E                                                           Name:


Virginia Woolf


Virginia Woolf (1882-1941) was one of the prominent writers of the early twentieth
century. Her novels and essays focused prominently on women’s experience. Woolf often
employed stream of consciousness technique in her writing. Some of her famous works
include Mrs. Dalloway, To the Lighthouse, and Orlando. She had a very traumatic
adolescent life due to the death of her mother, step-sister, father and favourite brother;
she suffered from mental illness for the rest of her life.

The following is an excerpt from Mrs. Dalloway:

Mrs Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself.
   For Lucy had her work cut out for her. The doors would be taken off their hinges;
Rumplemayer’s men were coming. And then, though Clarissa Dalloway, what a
morning—fresh as if issued to children on a beach.
   What a lark! What a plunge! For so it had always seemed to her when, with a little
squeak of the hinges, which she could hear now, she had burst open the French windows
and plunged at Bourton into the open air. How fresh, how calm, stiller than this of course,
the air was in the early morning; like the flap of a wave; the kiss of a wave; chill and
sharp and yet (for a girl of eighteen as she then was) solemn, feeling as she did, standing
there at the open window, that something awful was about to happen; looking at the
flowers, at the trees with the smoke winding off them and the rooks rising, falling;
standing and looking until Peter Walsh said, ‘Musing among the vegetables?’- was tha
tit? – ‘I prefer men to cauliflowers’-ws that it?


   1. Examine Woolf’s choice of diction. Does she use monosyllabic or polysyllabic
      words? What effect does her choice have on the reader?

   2. Count the number of words in a Woolf sentence. How many words in the shortest
      sentence? in the longest? What is the average number of words in a Woolf
      sentence?

   3. Examine the structure of Woolf’s sentences and her use of punctuation? What
      type of rhythm does her prose have? Why might this rhythm be appropriate or
      inappropriate?


   4. Rewrite the above or part of the above excerpt as Edgar Allan Poe would have
      written it.

				
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