Transcending Temporality: Escaping the Shackles of Linear Time. The concept of time is one that eludes the typical dictionary explanation that etymologists so simply thrust after the more concrete words that create the English language. Perhaps time defies the ability to be defined because of this of its ubiquitous mother nature – humans find time and energy to be so typical that it seems senseless to seek out a way with which to spell it out it. Perhaps it evades a conclusion because contemporary society is so fixated on its passage somewhat than its presence. Or simply it can’t be defined since it is merely a figment of the real human imagination – a way of mental dimension to keep sanity. Over the course of literature’s development, many have strived to build a novel that functions as a precise portrayal of the real human connection with time. As the modernist literary activity began, this matter shifted on the forefront, and one creator emerged who artfully designed a novel that transferred beyond the ease of plot and instead delved into the depths of the individuals unconscious. Through her creation of To the Lighthouse, Virginia Woolf produces an avant-garde illustration of the way in which humans experience the duration of time in order to criticize society’s fascination and fixation with the future.
Throughout her book, Woolf collapses the continuous development of linear time and instead utilizes an interplay between your diachronic and synchronic dimensions of energy to more accurately demonstrate how humans truly experience time’s development. In the past due 1980s, a historian by the name of Dominick LaCapra revolutionized the way in which scholars view time. Essentially, The LaCaprian theory of your time theorizes time to be a multidimensional phenomenon composed of a structure consisting of both a horizontal and a vertical aircraft. This horizontal planes is representative of what LaCapra phone calls diachronic time, or the passing and development of both commonplace and significant happenings, as the vertical planes, which signifies synchronic time, concerns itself with the passing of time when one fixates after the minute details of any given event (LaCapra 138). Virginia Woolf, into the Lighthouse, transcends the simplicity and monotony of diachronic time and interpolates passages that are written from a synchronic point of view, thus increasing the complexity of her work and allowing her to break free from the constraints caused by a plot based exclusively on linear time. If Woolf were to create specifically in the diachronic plane, her depiction of day-to-day life wouldn’t normally be practically as profound as synchronic information allow it to be (Gemmill 2). Her synchronic passages give her the ability to convey the facts of apparently simple events that hold deeper symbolic value. However, it is Woolf’s ability to seamlessly transition between diachronic and synchronic explanations that triggers her portrayal of your energy to be so truthful to the individuals experience – in virtually any given period, one event may appear to journey by quickly while you can notice every minute detail of another. This interchange is facilitated by using a use of blast of awareness narration.
By utilizing a stream of awareness format of narration, Woolf helps the ability to decelerate the apparent development of time in order to synchronically identify the importance of certain moments or remembrances. As the modernist literary activity reached its optimum, a narrative approach known as stream of consciousness became increasingly popular. Stream of consciousness narration permits insight into the thoughts of any character, presenting them to the reader in the exact method where a person would process them. For example, the brilliant image painted by Woolf as James is “sitting on the floor cutting out pictures from the illustrated catalogue of the Army and Navy stores, endowed the picture of an refrigerator, as his mom [speaks]” (Woolf 12) shows James’ processing of all that is happening around him, offering insight into his thoughts. While James’ activities in this minute seem unremarkable, stream of consciousness narration really helps to give attention to an infinitesimal instant and elaborate after it, a method which Woolf phone calls upon often. In essence, Woolf utilizes stream of consciousness narration to enhance the impact of synchronic occasions by further lengthening the explanation of each percentage of a moment, much in the way that a specific moment in time in the human experience can be drawn out by the mind. As Albert Einstein once said, “When you sit with a good girl for just two hours, it looks like two minutes. While you take a seat on a hot stove for just two minutes, it looks like two hours-that’s relativity. ” Woolf’s use of blast of awareness allows her audience to experience the progression of amount of time in the same manner as her characters-as they fixate on an instant, so does indeed the audience. The importance of this result and of Woolf’s use of blast of consciousness lies in her selection of when to hire it-she delves into the synchronic aspect of seemingly insignificant moments, focusing on the colors and auras (Stewart 3) of living. Through this method, Woolf captures an authentic entertainment of the human being experience, henceforth increasing the validity of her criticism from it.
In stark comparison with her capability to increase a nanosecond on the synchronic plane, Woolf’s use of mounting brackets creates a severe and unexpected seriousness and hastiness throughout the second part of the book that serves to illuminate society’s desensitization to the importance of the moment. Throughout part two of the novel, “Time Passes”, “the tough typographical appearance of the parenthetical grades [used by Woolf] themselves” (Gemmill 3) emphasizes the abrupt characteristics of Woolf’s go back to a diachronic description of your linear progression of situations. Woolf’s go back to a dry, boring portrayal of incidents within these mounting brackets signals a decision to return to linear time as she declares that “[Prue Ramsay died that summer months]” ( Woolf 132) and “[ Mr. Carmichael, who was simply reading Virgil, blew out his candle]” (Woolf 127) highlights a key syntactical pattern. It is evident that the happenings depicted within Woolf’s brackets reflect simplicity within both their syntax and diction, leading to them to be portrayed as commonplace even in conditions when they are rather tragic. Each set of parentheses contains one or more brief, telegraphic phrases written with simplistic diction and a blatant lack of detail, understating the importance of the event covered within and signaling a transfer to a far more omniscient perspective (Sang 3). A shift from the personable, relatable blast of consciousness style to this newfound omniscience is due to Woolf’s prefer to identify how desensitized contemporary society has become to happenings such as loss of life. To focus upon the synchronic dimension of time is to be personal, remarkable, to embody the carpe diem ideals of seizing each moment. Hence, Woolf’s regression to diachronic depictions signals a step away from this ideal, and mirrors modern society’s insufficient concern with the importance of the moment. While it can be argued that Woolf’s use of juxtaposition in conditions of color is the most essential tool in the conveyance of her views regarding contemporary society (McCarthy 1), it is this potential to delve into and then fall season away from a synchronic study of time that truly buttresses her disdain for humanity’s selections. By by using a wholly diachronic strategy towards the description of death, Woolf downplays its value to claim that a person’s priorities are better placed in a concern with life somewhat than its impending end.
As Woolf’s people have a problem with the knowledge of life’s ephemerality, many of them grasp for some sense of permanence as they preoccupy themselves with the near future and whether they will be remembered, paralleling whatever Woolf believes is currently occurring in contemporary society. Mr. Ramsay concerns that his work will be easily overlooked consequently of mortality and the brevity of human being life, so he looks for out some sort of permanence in the intellectual sphere which he dreams will cause his memory to stand the test of time. His makes an attempt to make a long-term philosophical contribution display Woolf’s views about the human dependence on personality and competitive success. Essentially, the alacrity of Mr. Ramsay’s frantic makes an attempt at rising that beats all others of population allows insight into Woolf’s distaste with the necessity in today’s modern culture to concentrate on future personal fulfillment rather than pleasure in the present. When Mrs. Ramsay dies, leading to Mr. Ramsay to “[lose] touch with the order of the physical world” (Doyle 9), his tries become scarcer, and his thoughts of worthlessness reflect Woolf’s view that humans bottom part their sense of self-worth after their permanence. This fixation with that which will come in the future is also obvious in the type of Lily Briscoe. Lily dreads the actual fact that 1 day her paintings will be thrown in to the attic and never again seen by the rest of society, resulting in a concern with life’s ephemerality similar to Mr. Ramsay’s. Whereas Ramsay searches for permanence in the intellectual world, Lily converts to her artwork for comfort. Her paintings become ways of synchronically capturing situations in diachronic time, exhibiting the dichotomy between the two dimensions of your energy and leading to insight concerning Woolf’s objective. Lily’s paintings being forgotten parallels world forgetting the importance of that which includes occurred and is occurring as a result of an preoccupation with the future and that which is to come. The colors included within Lily’s paintings are ones which often are associated with cheerfulness or joy (Stewart 2), symbolically indicating that Woolf thinks mankind is forgetting the delight that is connected with living life. Furthermore, Woolf includes many areas of her life in to the novel, and it is often argued that Lily may be considered a representation of Woolf herself, signaling that Woolf has undergone an internal struggle similar to this one (Brivic 9). Woolf’s personal link with this problem may provide as a conclusion as to the reasons she wishes on her behalf knowledge to defend myself against a didactic firmness regarding a carpe diem mentality.
Finally, through the denouement of the book, Lily Briscoe comes to terms with the fact that her life is ephemeral and that time will improve after she actually is ended up, further demonstrating Woolf’s views regarding society’s obsession with permanence. Lily’s capacity to finally match her artistic eye-sight comes only after allowing go of her dependence on permanence as she “[lays] down [her] brush in extreme tiredness” (Woolf 209) in the last line of the book. This final part of the novel is written within an extremely synchronic manner as Woolf painstakingly drags out every previous instant of the plot, capturing the significance of the details and underscoring the significance an instant of the time can have. This is done to be able to mirror the individuals connection with self-actualization as Lily reaches a feeling of closure, further validating Woolf’s portrayal of energy. Because this closure comes only once Lily has accepted the inevitableness of the ephemerality and transience of any mortal life, it is indisputable that Woolf’s target is to didactically display the downfalls associated with an obsession with the near future and a refusal to simply accept the temporary character of one’s time on the planet. This realization to the novel reinforces the importance of this fascination-fundamentally, Woolf posits that without realizing the aspects of life that are truly important, mankind will never be able to reach the same self-actualization that Lily is able to accomplish. Woolf essentially wishes to persuade her audience that “embracing the synchronic dimensions of time” (Gemmill 5) and leading a life focused on the present as opposed to the future is the most significant manner in which to spend a lifetime.
By meticulously illustrating the human being connection with relativity and the development of the time through the procedure of an two-dimensional interplay, Virginia Woolf is able to point out an integral fault in society. Her emphasis on society’s fixation with the near future and straying from a carpe diem lifestyle illuminates a potentially dangerous characteristic of this which humanity is becoming. Essentially, For the Lighthouse reveals that society’s course towards living without being able to appreciate the significance and importance of each and every moment in time is one that will in the end lead to its downfall if not reversed.