Monday, November 8, 2010

Blog #3 (Kew Gardens)

Kew Gardens, although an interesting read, was a tough one to follow as well. Woolf changes perspectives quite often within this short story. I do find it very interesting that Kew Gardens was written during a time when there was nothing being grown in Kew Gardens with the exception of onions. I believe that Woolf wrote the description of Kew Gardens completely from memory. Many times, when reading a novel or a short story, we get so caught up in trying to figure out what the plot and the point of the text is that we miss the beauty of the language. Virginia Woolf’s writing forces us to stop and “smell the roses”, if you will. Due to the fact that Kew Gardens lacks a profound plot or story line, we as readers must reevaluate the significance of her literary works. In Woolf’s writing, the profoundness is not found in the story line, but in the language Woolf uses to describe the scenes, characters and occurrences within her texts. Description is the heart and soul of Kew Gardens. As a reader, you learn much more about the characters within the short story by reading Woolf’s descriptions of them than by paying attention to what it is they are saying. The way in which Woolf gives attention to even the minutest of details paints a perfect picture in the minds of her readers.  She uses words as a paintbrush and we as readers feel as though we see, in our mind’s eye, the exact visions Woolf experienced whilst walking through Kew Gardens before it was turned into an onion crop.
Another aspect of Kew Gardens is the idea of time and its relativity. As the story opens, we are introduced to a man walking ahead of his wife and children, deep in thought.  He recalls a time when he proposed to a girl he loved and she turned him down. He remembers how he had bet that if a dragonfly which was hovering around the two of them at the time settled on a leaf, that his love would agree to marry him. However, the dragonfly never landed. During our insight into his thoughts, we realize that he is glad that the dragonfly never landed and that he is married to his current wife. Everyone has experienced a moment like this in which they believed that their boyfriend or girlfriend was that person’s be all and end all, and when the relationship came to an end, that their world was falling apart. However, most of us look back and realize that the previous relationship really wasn’t for the best and are glad that it ended and now see that it was not the end of our world as we knew it.

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