Nataša Tučev

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The paper approaches Virginia Woolf's To the Lighthouse by viewing it as an example of a changed representation of nature which characterizes Modernist fiction in general. This representation is in stark contrast to the Romantic experience and the notion of the poet's communion with the natural world as one of the essential Romantic tropes. The general sentiment which the Modernist authors express in their works is that nature has lost a great deal of its healing potential due to the industrial developments of the modern era, and the devastation brought about by the First World War. This motif is especially stressed in the middle section of Woolf's novel, titled "Time Passes". Wolf's text conveys an experience of the natural world which is no longer empathetic, but marginalizing and diminishing individual human agency. Such representation implies that nature can no longer console the human spirit, or compensate for the dehumanizing practices of late industrial capitalism. This is why Woolf's vision finally turns to art itself, as the only realm where such compensation may still be found. In analysing these motifs, the paper relies on Randall Stevenson's studies Modernist Fiction (1992) and Literature and the Great War (2013).


Virginia Woolf, representation of nature, Modernism, Romanticism, industrialism, First World War

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Bradbury, Nicola. 2002. "Introduction". In: V. Woolf, To the Lighthouse, v–xvi. Ware: Wordsworth Editions Limited.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.22190/FULL220427003T


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