13 Mar 2015

BA English Modern Essay ' The Eclipse' by Virginia Woolf

THE ECLIPSE
                                    Virginia Woolf
Virginia Woolf was a famous English novelist, critic and essayist. She was the daughter of a prominent Victorian critic, Sir Leslie Stephen. This essay, The Eclipse reveals her vivid observation and artistic description of details. This is her one of representative essays which shows her qualities and attitudes as a writer.

The essay in hand describes the scene of solar eclipse that lasted for twenty four second. It also projects the excitement of the people of England who  were very eager to see the solar eclipse. It was a night in the month of June, when large number of people was travelling to the North. All of them wanted to reach Yorkshire by the early morning so that they could see the solar eclipse clearly.

 People had reached at the Euston Railway station from the different parts of the country. Everybody was up at that night. There was no fixity, no sleep in England at that night..They felt themselves related to the whole world .The crowd went on increasing as the people on the way were joining them.


Finally they reached the meeting place on a high fell. The ground was soft moorland .They sat down on the ground and some of them started eating while others were moving about. They looked like statue standing prominent at the ridge of the world.None of them had good appearance. Gradually the sun started rising and threw its golden grays on the ground. The sky was cloudy somewhat. Soon the sun started shining in full glory.

 And the snow began to melt.But in no time the clouds covered the sun. A game of hide and seek began between the sun and the clouds and it created suspense among the viewers.It appeared that the clouds tried to obstruct the path of the sun whereas the sun dashed forward to reach its goal.
The sun appeared again. Now the sacred twenty four seconds of eclipse had started. The sun had disappeared behind the moon and only a hollow sun was seen until the sun completely blotted out. There was then extreme chill and darkness everywhere. It seemed to be the end of the world. This horrified the viewers.

Soon, however, the eclipse was over and the sun repapered again filling the world with life and cooler. This observation gave the people a feeling that all the colours and beauty of the earth is owing to the sun. Without the existence of the sun, there would be no colour, no activity and no life on the earth.

What is the message of the essay, The Eclipse?
It is a beautiful descriptive easy written by world  famous writer , Virginia Woolf. The message of the essay is quite simple and straightforward. The sun is the pivot of the solar system. Without the existence of the sun , all the colours of the world vanish and  the worlds looks like a withered leaf. The world is dead without a the sun.

This is proved buy the people of England who are going to Yorkshire , in the foot  of a hill, to see the solar eclipse that would be of twenty four seconds only. There was great thrill and excitement over England. Everybody was up that night and the people  were travelling to the North. They had reached the Euston railway station  from there they would reach their final destination.

At last they reached the appointed place by the morning. Their appearance was not good. They waited impatiently for the rise of the sun. The sky was cloudy. This created suspense among them. At last , the sun rose , it threw its golden rays on the earth. A game of hide and seek began between the sun the clouds. Before the eclipse the world was looking very beautiful. The colors of the world were visible.

Now the sacred twenty four seconds began. The sun started disappearing behind the moon; only a hollow sun was looking. All the faces lost pleasures. The colors of the world disappeared. Darkness prevailed everywhere. The cold grew. The life lost its meaning .The world looked like a dead d leaf.
But then the sun regained its brightness and  world was again full of colors and vigor.

Points to remember:
1.In this modern essay,Virginia Woolf tells us the importance of the sun for our Earth and existence of life on it.
2.The humans' joys,pleasures,life and the colours of the world are due to the Sun,if there is no Sun,all the pleasures ,joys and colours vanish.
3. On a beautiful June morning, the people were moving towards a hilly area in Northern England.
4.They gathered at the foot of a hill and the purpose of there gathering was to witness a total solar eclipse.
4.The villagers were amazed to see a large crowd and a country squire also joined the gathering with his four hunting dogs.
5. All the people were so keen to go as if they had some appointment to keep.
6.The Sun rose and spread its golden rays all over the valley making everything colourful and beautiful.
7. The weather was somewhat cloudy,there started a game of hide and seek between the sun and the clouds.
8.The sacred twenty four seconds started and the people witnessed a complete solar eclipse.Darkness prevailed every where.
9. The world seemed to be dead during the solar eclipse.
10. From this incident,the writer drew a conclusion: the colours of the world are not permanent.

Question:
Why has the writer used the reference of  "Stone-Henge".What is her purpose behind it?

Answer:
Here in this essay the writer has given a pre-historic reference of Stone Henge. All over the world it is a famous historic site.Stone Henge is basically a circular setting of large standing stones.It was a place where the worshipers of the Sun stood together and worshiped the Sun.They believed in the 'Sol' the god of the Sun.

Here in this essay "The Eclipse" the writer wants to give a religious touch by giving the reference of Stone Henge. In this essay , the people stood in circular shape to witness the solar eclipse.They seemed as if they were ancient people who stood in the same position on the Stone Henge to worship the Sun

But in this essay, it is very clear that here the gathering of the people means only to observe the solar eclipse and not to worship the Sun.

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