Writing to a Rhythm, Not a Plot in Woolf's 'The Waves'
In The World Without a Self: Virginia Woolf and the Novel, James Naremore discusses how one is struck, not only by a "certain ... diversity" among the six voices within Virginia Woolf's The Waves, but simultaneously by the "sameness of things" where "the speeches often seem like one pervasive voice with six personalities" (1973: 151). Contributing to this "sameness" are the similarities in form and style of the six voices, which appear not only alike between characters, but also throughout their progression from childhood to adulthood. This rhythmic notion manifests throughout the text in complex and varying ways, and it is precisely this tension between the individuals, specifically Louis, Rhoda and Bernard, and their "underlying equivalence" which within this essay will look at these characters notion of self as a means for Woolf using the idea of writing to a rhythm, not a plot and showing how it alters her representation of narrative, time and character in The Waves.
One can see in the beginning "series of dramatic" soliloquies the stark isolation of Louis and Rhoda in the novel's structure. Louis is anxiously aware of his Australian accent and alien roots,...
Join Now to View Premium Content
GradeSaver provides access to 754 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 4819 literature essays, 1497 sample college application essays, 189 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.
Already a member? Log in