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Jacob - A Character in Fade Shades

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Jacob - A Character in Fade Shades by Herminne Tonita -

Daughter of Sir Leslie Stephan, a writer himself, she was considered by some critics the most important of English novelists; she was a tireless experimenter in whose hands the novel tended to become something different from a mere fictional narrative of characters.

Published in 1922, after Virginia Woolf had written tow more novels and the sketches volume "Monday Tuesday' the novel "Jacob's Room" marks a turning in the writer's activity because it is her first consistent attempt to use in a larger writing the impressionistic method used in the sketches and described in the essay "Mr. Bennet and Mrs. Brown".

"Jacob's Room" is the novel of a life made up of fragments and retold methods through a technique which highlights this dominant characteristic of the pro tagonist's existence. The book consists of all the elements of the traditional biography but all these are structured through a new, innovating perspective. When the story begins "on the third of September" Jacob is a little boy who is spending his holidays in Cornwall together with his mother, the widow Betty Flanders and his two younger bothers Archer and John. Then the scene changes: Jacob is in Scarborough, in the house where he spent his childhood, learning Latin with Mr. Floyd. At the age of 19 he is sent to Cambridge and there he makes new friends: Richard Bonamy and Timothy Durrant. He is invited to spend his holiday at Timothy's place in Cornwall where he meets Timothy's sister, Clara. After graduating from Cambridge at the age of 22 he rents an apartment in Conduit Street in London, he works in an anonymous bureau, goes hunting and partying, he visits his mother's friends, he goes to the Opera, he writes essays. At the age of 25 he travels to France, Greece, Italy. When he returns home the war breaks out. He joins the army and he gets killed on the battlefield. The hero's biography lacks dramatic events. The only dramatic event is the hero's death, presented in a very restrictive manner.

The hero's personality is evoked through different points of view, making up a very complex portrait. Florinda and Fanny Elmer compare Jacob to a Greek statue, Sandra Wentworth Williams thinks of him as to a little boy and Clara considers him a strange being. Although Jacob is not a too complicated being he is distant and mysterious. The changing of plans and the sudden transition from one scene to another become the most frequent stylistic figures used by the writer. The author's primordial purpose is to catch the moving life impulses not the static inconclusive details of the story. All throughout the novel Virginia Woolf adapts the technique used in sketches, transcribing reflections and casual speculations which appear in the conversation, ideas and reminiscences suggested from one scene to another.

The writer also uses images from the surrounding reality to objectify the character's most intimate feelings without interfering with the effect of real life. It is also used the interior monologue but Virginia also keeps a minimum control over the narration.

"Jacob's Room" highlights a progress in what concerns the rhythm and the sensations, the impressionistic which takes place in the character's consciousness. It represents the "room" of the universe in which the hero integrates and it also becomes the novel itself.
Jacob - A Character in Fade Shades written by Herminne Tonita for FamousWhy.com
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Tags: jacob, virginia woolf, writer, novel, biography

Category: Education  - ( Education Archive)

Date Added: 20 August '07

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