Sunday, December 5, 2010

Between the Acts

Many different ideas emerge in Between the Acts. It was suggested in class that this work is more relaxed than much of her work. Woolf seems to be moving away from the idea of “I” to more of a collective “we.” This makes her more relatable because the reader feels included rather than preached to. This novel becomes less about pushing her own opinions on others and more about how the common reader thinks and feels. This different approach ties into the theme of many individuals coming together as a community and acting as a single unit. It seems that Woolf is comparing the mind of the individual to the mind of the group. The individual perceives the world as it applies to only her/him whereas the group perceives how something as it affects everyone. There is more freedom in acting as a group. Where an individual may be less inclined to push an issue because only they find it relevant, and group has no such obstacle. A group is full of others who believe the same thing and so the group feels more empowered to do something about it.

Something I found completely ironic is Woolf’s question in the novel of “Did the plot matter?” She goes on to suggest that the plot does not really matter because emotion can be created within the reader without one. However, to me at least, this novel is one of the closest to having a plot that we have read this semester. Is it the conflicts within the novel (ie: Isa’s marriage to Giles) that makes the novel so much more plot-like? It fuels and carries the story forward and adds something to be worked out or worked on throughout the course of the novel.

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