December 1, 2008
Virginia Woolf Analysis Essay
Some say that we do not know the true value of our moments until they have undergone the test of memory. In her memoirs, Virginia Woolf dwells upon treasured memories of a fishing day in her childhood, in the company of her father and brother, who enjoyed fishing. Instead of a memory lingering at the back of her mind, it becomes one that she vividly contemplates, remembering every word, every detail. Using figurative language, concrete diction, and telegraphic sentences, Woolf effectively conveys the lasting significance of these moments from her past: she remembers how her father first encouraged her to make her own decisions.
In paragraph 1, Woolf depicts the fishing trip she experienced as a child with her father and brother. As she illustrates the fishing trip, Woolf uses figurative language to describe the many aspects of the event. She uses both simile and personification in her depiction of the jellyfish in lines 10-11: "…the sea was full of pale jellyfish, like lamps, with streaming hair…" projecting a verdant attitude and establishing the experience as a bright one. Such a childish attitude becomes manifested by her focus on color in line 8: "…his blue eyes, very blue…” through the use of concrete diction to depict her brother’s eyes, she examines his appearance as if observing him through a video camera, capturing every lasting moment. In lines 15-16, Woolf asks, "How can I convey the excitement?" Through the use of a rhetorical question, Woolf testifies to the immense passion that she felt towards fishing, allowing the reader to relate on a personal level. Using a telegraphic sentence in line 19-20, “There it lay flapping this way and that in an inch or two of water.” Exemplifying the short and abrupt movements of the fish, Woolf reveals her captivation in the moment while she catches the fish. Through the use of verbiage such as, “inch” or...