Le livre Mme Dalloway de Virginia Woolf est sur une table.

Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf: A Modernist Novel

Virginia Woolf, a pioneer in the literary world, was deeply engrossed in the exploration of innovative narrative techniques. Her novels, celebrated as groundbreaking masterpieces, introduced avant-garde forms of fiction, charting new territories previously untraversed.

These works boldly shattered the conventional moulds of storytelling, distancing themselves from the well-trodden paths of the Victorian (1837-1901) and Edwardian (1901-1910) eras. Woolf’s narrative experimentation was a declaration of independence from the narrative norms of these ancient ages, heralding a new era in the art of novel writing.

The First World War was a trauma and brought out a crisis. A break is always prepared, the main innovators were Thomas Hardy and Joseph Conrad.

Woolf belongs to an aesthetic movement called the Modernist Novel. “Mrs Dalloway” was published in 1925, which was the year hinging the middle of her career: at the beginning of her career, she was rather traditional (Edwardian) but at the end, “The Waves” is a lyrical fiction, a long and unconventional narrative poem.

“Mrs Dalloway” is still in its shape and structure a novel but at the same time, few clues can be found that point out what Woolf will carry further afterwards.

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Une tasse de thé et des livres fleuris créant une ambiance sereine, parfaite pour étudier ou se livrer à une contemplation poétique.

Bac : méthode pour l’étude d’un texte poétique

  1. Bac : méthode pour l’étude d’un texte poétique
  2. 10 conseils pour bien réussir l’épreuve de Compréhension Orale du bac
  3. La compréhension écrite au bac : la méthode pour réussir
  4. Conseils pour bien réussir l’épreuve d’Expression Orale du bac
  5. Bac : le dossier en spécialité LLCER Anglais
  6. Bac : épreuve orale de spécialité LLCER Anglais
  7. Conseils pour bien réussir le Grand Oral du Bac
  8. La synthèse de documents en LLCER : méthode pour réussir

Voici la fiche méthode pour faciliter l’étude d’un texte poétique, avec un rappel des principaux éléments constitutifs d’un poème.

Qu’est-ce qu’un vers ?

Le début du vers est marqué par une majuscule. La fin du vers est marquée par un retour à la ligne. Le vers (contrairement à la phrase en prose) n’occupe pas forcément toute la ligne, et on peut donc trouver un espace blanc à la fin du vers.

Remarque : si le vers dépasse la ligne, alors la fin du vers ne s’aligne pas sur la marge de gauche dans la poésie classique (jusqu’au XIXe siècle), comme en prose, mais sur la marge de droite, après un crochet.

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Une peinture de personnages du Vicaire de Wakefield rassemblés dans une pièce.

Characters and characterization in The Vicar of Wakefield

  1. Characters and characterization in The Vicar of Wakefield
  2. Structure and Plot in The Vicar of Wakefield

Characters are a finished product. Characterization is the technique of production of the characters, it reflects the way of thinking.

Goldsmith was not only a novelist but also a playwright: he wrote “The Good Natur’d Man” (1768) and “She Stoops to Conquer” (1773). When he wrote “The Vicar of Wakefield”, Goldsmith was testing through fiction characters who were to become perfectible on stage. Full-fledged characters are fleshed-out characters. Fiction writing was for him a draft for theatre, that’s the reason why there are so many references to theatre in the text.

“All the same flesh and blood” (p. 10)

All of the characters are connected through the family.

The family circle

Being a vicar, Primrose reminds his reader that all mankind makes up a large family. Characters are defined through kinship (family relationships). For instance, the Primroses form the typical family structure of the 18th century:

  • the father is at the centre (patriarchal model)
  • the eldest son is favoured (primogeniture)
  • gender roles are well-differentiated (p. 45)

The patronym is Primrose: it is a forerunner of the end of the story. To be “prim” is to behave well and to be easily shocked. The “rose” is a flower, the symbol of England. “Rose” is also the preterit from “to rise”, indicating social elevation.

Throughout the novel, the reader comes across characters who are connected by family ties. Yet, in the denouement, the already existing family bonds are strengthened: In the end, the Primrose family find themselves united to the Wilmots (through George’s wedding) and to the Thornhills (through Sophia’s wedding, and through Olivia’s wedding that proves to have been genuine after all).

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