This Edwardian writers. Woolf is trying to convince

This essay is again criticising the materialism of Edwardian
writers. Woolf is trying to convince that writers as Arnold Bennet are wrong
only focusing on the character-creation and forgetting about the plot, the
style, or the originally outlook. Furthermore, Woolf defends that even their
character-creation is flat and what really makes a point is the real, true, and
convincing character.  The new
character-creation must see the human mind with perspective, trying to bring
real world issues to the literature, and for that changes are needed.

Woolf quoted “On or about December 1910 human
character changed (…) and when human relations change there is at the same time
a change in religion, conduct, politics and literature.” In this date was
assembled the exhibition Manet and the
Post-Impressionists by Roger Fry, in order to awake a sleepy England
showing the new styles in painting that has been electrifying Europe for years,
introducing the Cubism and the Fauves. With her quote, Woolf is trying to
explain that the literature is obsolete and cannot represent a true reality,
which is exactly what those materialist writers were doing.

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Woolf, in her objective to teach how to write
rightfully through fail after fail until reach perfection, tries to explain
what and how modern fiction should write about through a story. In the story we
have two relevant figures, Mrs. Brown and Mr. Bennet with the objective to
reach Arnold Bennet’s mind and make him see the truth behind the story. This truth
would be the myriad impressions he could get from the first look to Mrs. Brown,
because “Mrs. Brown can be treated in an infinite variety of ways, according to
the age, country, and temperament of the writer”. After expose Mrs Brown´s character,
Woolf asks Bennet “what reality is and who judges that reality”.

There are so many possibilities to the right answer
that none can reach perfection but as writers we must keep still. Arnold Bennet
wrote the character of Hilda Lessways as if she was alone in the world as a
real character, but she is not even the principal voice of the story. It is
Arnold Bennet. “Suddenly Hilda heard her mother’s voice…’ But we cannot hear
her mother’s voice, or Hilda’s voice; we can only hear Mr. Bennett’s voice
telling us facts about rents and freeholds and copyholds and fines”. Hilda is
inexistent while Mrs Brown is presence in every stage of the story. Not only
her, but every character included from the beginning to the end leave a sign. “For
Woolf, everyone experiences a myriad thoughts, feelings, and impressions in
their day-to-day life, and this is real life, the stuff of
which real characters should be made, rather than the flesh-and-blood
materialism (and focus on economic factors) which a writer like Arnold Bennett
uses to make his characters real” (interestingliterature).


In addition, along the story, Woolf declares the feminine
emancipation. She points up to the Edwardians and give as example the character
of Hilda. “How shall I begin to describe this woman’s character? And they said:
‘Begin by saying that her father kept a shop in Harrogate. (…) for I knew that
if I began describing the cancer and the calico, my Mrs. Brown, that vision 15
to which I cling though I know no way of imparting it to you, would have been
dulled and tarnished and vanished for ever”. While Hilda is beneath a man
figure, Mrs Brown can protest and make a clearly difference on character.

To sum up, Woolf is again trying to connect and guide
every writer through others writer´s mistakes. She is the personification of
Mrs Brown, an independent woman strong enough to act as a muse for anyone who
catch her. This metaphor is only a manifest shout from Woolf in order to bring
life to the modernist literature and advance to new horizons.


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