This work explores a central question of the human condition: how do we find meaning in human experience? Virginia Woolf's novels give us insight into the Modernist's response, one that reacts to the devastation of war, advances in the sciences, and a deeper understanding of human consciousness. Orts, Scraps, and Fragments contends that the social constructs of religion, marriage, and communication fail to provide the meaning and interpersonal connection that society invests in them. Instead, Woolf's characters struggle within these constructs and ultimately find themselves disillusioned, unfulfilled, and isolated. Through a close reading, Dr. McGarry analyzes the ways in which characters, such as Clarissa Dalloway, Mrs. Ramsay, Giles and Isa Oliver, and Jacob Flanders, attempt to work through the realization that meaning is elusive. However, Woolf's few artistic characters have the ability to transcend this darkness. Through their struggle for creative expression, they glimpse, if only briefly, a larger, unifying meaning. For Lily Briscoe, Miss LaTrobe, and Bernard this momentary hint of universal meaning provides sufficient motivation to continue the artistic process and life itself. For Woolf art, not imposed social constructs, sustains life.
Publisher: University Press of America
Number of pages: 180
Weight: 290 g
Dimensions: 231 x 153 x 15 mm