Virginia Woolf’s Contribution to English Fiction

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      We would like to begin with the remark of W.Y. Tyndall, “Her achievement is a style of wit and intelligence, of conjunctions, of the particular with the general, of rhythms, of exclamations and parentheses, that made her as he was aware, a Bloomsbury equivalent to Laurence Sterne”. Mrs. Woolf’s contribution to the technique of the novel is beyond any question.

Virginia Woolf, A Creative Writer

      Virginia Woolf has been regarded as a most energetic and diligent experimenter in English fiction. She was not satisfied with the conventional technique of the novel, she tried her hand to experiment with something new that would suit her purpose. Her contemporaries and predecessors had most discussed the body and neglected the soul, that means their novels often deal with the external incidents and occurrences; very little attention was paid to delineating the internal reality. Thus Mrs. Woolf set on to explore human psyche. She did not concentrate on the contemporary social problems like Victorian novelists but indulged in dissecting and revealing the inner world, that is consciousness.

      Thus Virginia Woolf is the most remarkable modem female fiction novelist who sought a new direction, a new form and a new technique of novel. She had developed a solely distinctive form and pattern of the novel which is most praiseworthy. She had adopted the technique of internal monologue or the stream-of-consciousness but her novels are not distracted, unrestrained and deformed.

The Objective of Virginia Woolf

      Virginia Woolf’s task was to illumine the dark and to render the human psyche but her works are wonderful achievements because it is not easy to analyze and expose the internal reality in a balanced and well-knit manner. She was neither sick at heart like the creatures of Proust’s imagination nor did her works waft around evil odors like that of Joyce’s but her characters are shadowy phantoms of her fancy in front of massive contributions of the novelists of earlier generations. What makes her art attractive is the lyricism behind her novels and skillful handling of the technique of stream-of-consciousness.

A Comparative Study of Virginia Woolf

      Mrs. Woolf can be best assessed if we compare her with other writers of the same school of stream-of-consciousness. Proust had originated something new into French fiction. So did Joyce, Lawerence, Dorothy Richardson and Virginia Woolf in English fiction. Lawrence’s art is like an untamed thing, given to the mercy of illogical instinct, Joyces, though invented a new technique yet his works are like unsatisfying parody of human nature; Dorothy Richardson produced a good example of this method but her novels lack unity of scheme. Thus, Scott James says that Virginia Woolf has brought everything together. She has arranged human nature and used a recognizable poetic pattern to depict tenuous strands of thought. Everything is woven with a knack, by the delicate hands into a strong fabric.


      Virginia Woolf’s major contribution is that she developed a new form of fiction which records the happenings of mind and consciousness in a most aesthetic manner. The musicalization of novel as done by Virginia Woolf can not be surpassed, it is unparalleled and matchless.

University Questions

Discuss Mrs. Virginia Woolf’s contribution to English fiction.
Critically examine the achievements of Mrs. Virginia Woolf in the domain of English Fiction.

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