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How are language and structure used to create meaning in Kew Gardens by Virginia Wolf?

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How are language and structure used to create meaning in Kew Gardens by Virginia Wolf? Language and structure in Kew Gardens create many effects, of which the primary one is how humanity is simply part of a bigger picture, thus shown by how the memoir blend seamlessly into each other. Also, it goes on to paint a bigger picture, using the extended metaphor of a snail and comparing this to the path of human life, and how it is scattered with obstacles. However, there are still many things to be said. Firstly imagery is used to create many effects. The extended metaphor of the snail creates meaning. "The snail, whose shell had been stained red, blue and yellow" creates the effect that life is beautiful due to the snail's colours and that life is eternal. It may also be a vision of what life should be like, beautiful and simple but it really is the exact opposite. Also, the snail is described in more detail than any of the people, creating the effect that humanity is insignificant; unlike many think it to be, when compared to the beauty of nature. ...read more.


An intertextual reference to this is the story of King Canute, who believed that he could halt the sea. Perhaps Wolf is saying that in WW1 we did the same as Canute and tried to be stronger than nature, and obviously the consequences were dire. Wolf's style also can be analysed when finding meaning. Firstly, Wolf writes in a very descriptive style with little action. The effect of this is that the intense descriptions of nature make the flowers seem even more beautiful and pleasant to the reader. When this is compared to the lack of description when the people are described the reader sees humanity as dull, which backs up the points earlier that Wolf was intending the reader to se that we are not quite as great as we really are. Also, the poorer women are described in a more erratic style and Wolf gives them less description. "Sugar, flowers, kippers greens" creates the effect that all that the lower class cares about is food and family. Perhaps this makes the reader aware of how the poor are madder and less sane than the rich. ...read more.


Widows! Women in black! This creates the effect that an entire generation of people has been psychologically damaged by the war. This then further emphasises how going against nature results in disastrous consequences. Also, this can also show how nature is essential, and we really should follow its message of peace and cooperation, after all, the snail is described to be ponderous and thoughtful, as it goes through every possible solution when reaching its goal, "the snail had now considered every possible method of reaching his goal". In conclusion, the primary effect created is that humanity is only in drop on the great canvas of entirety and how we should learn a lesson from nature, shown with the beauty of the flowers and the patience of the snail. Also, the poor women show that the most beautiful things in life should be appreciated by everyone, no matter how poor or mad they are. Finally, Wolf criticises the war and how human nature lead us to hurting so many people, shown in the extract by the war veteran. Maybe if we had taken a leaf out of the snails book then we would never have ended up in such a disastrous mess. ...read more.

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