Kew Gardens Essay

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In the following essay, Bishop explores Woolf's relationship between "language and reality," which is seen through her use of characters and techniques.

"Lucky it isn't Friday," he observed. "Why? D'you believe in luck?" "They make you pay sixpence on Friday." "What's sixpence anyway? Isn't it worth sixpence?" "What's 'it'—what do you mean by 'it'?" "O, anything—I mean—you know what, I mean."

The reader knows what the young woman means because the conversation occurs near the close of "Kew Gardens" and Virginia Woolf has already captured "it": the essence of the natural and the human world of the garden. From the beginning of her career Woolf had been pursuing the "uncircumscribed spirit" of life, but she had been frustrated by the methods of conventional fiction. Now, she makes no attempt to deal with "it" discursively—she does not, as she might have done...

(read more from the Critical Essay #4 section)

This section contains 2,998 words
(approx. 8 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Kew Gardens Study Guide
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Kew Gardens from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.