The Years Themes & Motifs

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Weather

Woolf begins each chapter with a description of the meteorological circumstances surrounding the events of her novel. These vary in function, but in general they act as an "objective" counterpoint to the "subjective" perspectives of the novel. Nearly all of the action is seen through the eyes of one of the main characters, but the introductory sections concerning the weather offer a view of the world from a perspective outside of human perception, and above human civilization. The weather, therefore, is a point "outside" of the regular flow of time and history in "The Years."

Sometimes Woolf uses the weather to reflect the events of the novel, as when the war breaks out and a bitter snow settles on London: "A very cold winter's night, so silent that the air seemed frozen" (266). The same happens again when the war ends: "It was a summer evening; the...

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This section contains 1,598 words
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