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Spatial Narrative in Virginia Woolf’s Fiction

Author: WangZuo
Tutor: LiXiaoZuo
School: Northeast Agricultural University
Course: English Language and Literature
Keywords: spatial narrative Virginia Woolf types of space techniques
CLC: I561.074
Type: Master's thesis
Year: 2013
Downloads: 115
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Abstract


Virginia Woolf (1882-1941) is generally regarded as one of the excellent English modern novelists, whomade a significant contribution to the development of modern novels and criticism. In her life of literarypractice, her product a great number of novels, short stories, essays, biographies, diaries and letters. Variouscritical approaches have been applied to analyze her works, among which mainly are Feminist criticism,Historicist approach, Narrative approach, and Psychoanalytic approach, etc. In recent years, spatial issueshave invited critical attention. However, few articles have approached Woolf from the perspective of spatialnarrative.This dissertation “Spatial Narrative in Virginia Woolf’s Fiction” puts forward the notion of “SpatialNarrative” as a paradigm to explore the types of space, techniques of spatial narrative, significance of spatialnarrative in Woolf’s fiction. It should be noted that the concept of space discussed here is beyond physicallimitations, take social cultural and mental factors into consideration. Holding the arguments above, theauthor of this dissertation tries to make analysis with the application of spatial narrative research.This thesis is divided into five parts. Chapter One offers an introduction to this study. It includes threesections: an introduction of Virginia Woolf and her fiction, spatial narrative of literature which leads to thethesis of the study, and the objective and significance of the study.Chapter Two mainly discusses three types of spaces in Woolf’s fiction. Firstly, the physical space inWoolf’s characters’ real world is geographically structured with typical cities and places, such as London,India, lighthouse, etc. Secondly, the author discusses social cultural space. In Mrs. Dalloway, the charactersare incapable of violating social norm. In To The Lighthouse, it reflects the unharmonious situation betweentwo sexes. In The Waves, it describes characters’ different attitudes toward life and death. Thirdly, the authorintroduces the extended psychological space of Woolf’s characters’ inner-world. In Mrs. Dalloway, Mrs.Dalloway desires more for power than freedom and love. In To the Lighthouse, characters yearn for eternityof love. In The Waves, characters fight against loneliness and alienation in their own way.Chapter Three regards techniques of spatial narrative as the key to successful spatial narration. As aresult, the flexible techniques in Woolf’s fiction mainly discussed in the dissertation include juxtapositionand point of view. As for juxtaposition, it includes juxtaposition of stories, juxtaposition of narrative time,and juxtaposition of characters. As for point of view, it includes limited point of view and multiple points ofview of the characters.Chapter Four illustrates the underlying causes of spatial narrative in Virginia Woolf’s fiction. Thepurpose is to seek the value of self existence; the significance is to pursue the harmony and order in thedisorder.Chapter Five is conclusion. The interpretation of Woolf’s fictions by employing the theory of spatialnarrative helps to understand the characteristics of Woolf’s fictions and even modern fiction, and to the comprehension of the spatial tendency and to the close relationship between space and theme in modernfiction.

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