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Night And Day By Virginia Woolf Text Analysis

784 words - 4 pages

This scene takes place in Katherine Hilbery’s house. It is situated at the moment when neither Ralph nor Katharine were sure of what they felt for each other. In this extract, it is clearly seen that Ralph is lost in his thoughts mostly because of the different feelings he has for Katharine. He cannot make the difference between reality and what he believes is reality. Therefore, by proceeding to a deep analysis of what is happening in Ralph’s head, Virginia Woolf, being the omniscient narrator, shows us the trouble and lost Katharine Hilbery has created into Denham’s mind. To express her ideas, she uses multiple stylistic features which contribute in adding a certain consistence to the themes she wants to highlight. Subsequently, two themes may be identified in that extract which are the inability to distinguish the real from the intangible and Ralph’s unconscious infatuation with Katharine.
First, on the second to third line, Virginia Woolf describes the first symptoms which show Denham’s incapability to separate reality from imagination. “His eyes were bright…he scarcely knew whether they beheld dreams or reality”. This personification of the eyes, as if it was the eyes only were the observers of the reality and dreams and not the human, shows Ralph confusion about the world he is living in. It seems like he is trapped at the frontier of two different dimensions where the realities in each of them are mixed together to create the absurdity he was seeing at that moment. His imagination and his world being the same entity in his head, he could not think nor act at that precise moment. We can also detect a lexical field of hallucination with the words “dreams”, “phantom”, “unreal” and “depth of mind” which enforce the idea that Ralph does not have all his capacities at the moment and that he is lost between two different worlds, unable to know which is the real and which is the fake one. Also,
Ralph’s failure to differentiate the reality from the dreams can be explained by one thing: he is in complete infatuation with Katherine Hilbery. She occupies every piece of his mind and is so present in his thoughts that the simple act of thinking about her makes him happy, though he is not...

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