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Linda always transforms objetcs and scenes in her imaginary perception. Paradoxically she sees the fearful aloe with the “long sharp thorns” as a sanctuary, changing the animate tree into an inanimate ship that “nobody would dare to follow after”, that she herself can steer away. Linda’s dilemma provides her with no catharsis. She cannot be reconciled to ife, and only wishes to escape in her many dreams.Her manipulation or exaggeration of proportion and perspective – the baby’s head in “Prelude” for instance is a feature of Mannerism. The dining-room window had a square of coloured glass at each corner. One was blue and one was yellow. Kezia bent down to have one more look at a blue lawn with blue arum lilies growing at the gate, and then at a yellow lawn with yellow lilies and a yellow fence. As she looked a little Chinese Lottie came out on to the lawn and began to dust the tables and chairs with a corner of her pinafore. Mansfield’s vision is fragmented with neither artist permitting the spectator/reader a complete view of their chosen subject matter – for example, “Prelude” and “At the Bay” are divided into twelve separate episodes of uneven length and the story unfolds from various perspectivesWoolf’s writing seems to have been most influenced by what Roger Fry describes asthe discovery of “an equivalent of life. . .that they wish to make images which by the clearness of their logical structure, and by their closely-knit unity of texture, shall appeal to our disinterested and contemplative imagination with something of the same vividness as the things of actual life appeal to our practical activities” In fact there are only three certainties that the narrator can see. The first being that newspapers are a waste of time as ‘nothing ever happens.’ Secondly the narrator is sure of her feelings about the war (cursed war) and thirdly the narrator realises that the mark on the wall is definitely a is a new manner of feeling and taking part in the life of things, since existence is a going out toward primitive experience, which is fragmented into its sensational instants, and a return toward the interior of the self” (58). In other words, one of the features of literary impressionism is that it sheds considerable light on the interior life of the characters, leaving the external descriptions to unfold through their eyes.In Woolf’s fiction, the characters’ inner lives create the landscape. Another essential feature of literary impressionism is its emphasis on time, both time passing and the duration of moments in impressionism “light is life, and objects, liberated from the cramp of mind, vibrate on the retina”Such passages indicate Woolf’s developing impressionist method, of “if one wants to compare life to anything, one must liken it to being blown through the Tube at fifty miles an hour  — landing at the other end without a single hairpin in one’s hair! Shot out at the feet of God entirely naked!The fact that the war is also in progress for three years (the story was written in 1917) may compound the narrator’s feelings of paralysis.She has no role to play in the war as her role in life has already been defined by society. The war is a man-made problem and will be fought and won by men. The role of the female at the time would have been to be subservient to the male.As mentioned the female had a secondary role to the male and Woolf may be symbolically using the mark on the wall and its sense of imperfection to highlight the imperfect world that existed at the time. It may also be important that the narrator is conscious of the differences between male and female. All the power rests with men not only domestically (at home) but politically too.”What now takes the place of those things I wonder, those real standard things? Men perhaps, should you be a woman” (2084). The “perhaps” gives the allusion that she does not agree with this idea entirely. However, it is known that she believed the world was man-made and women should not have to solve the problems men created (Forster 15). This might be how men take the place of those standard things: they made the world what it is today, though she does not agree with their methods. After a long, contemplative story, in which reality and fantasy intermix, the male character interrupts her thoughts. He reveals that the mark on the wall was a snail, thereby causing an abrupt ending to the story. The truth has been revealed, reality has intervened. “The masculine point of view … governs the women’s lives” (2084), as she says herself. The woman does not get up to see if the mark truly was a snail, instead, she merely accepts the man’s perception and promptly ends the story and her entire train of thought. The reader is left with a dissatisfied feeling, as though the true ending is missing, which might prove that Woolf herself was unsatisfied with the state of affairs. The male character oppresses the woman by forcing her to see reality and live according to his rules. This last part is emphasised by him saying he does not understand why they should have a snail on the wall, even though this snail or mark was the cause of the female’s thinking. The fact that the narrator appears to be comfortable when it comes to nature might also be important as by focusing so heavily on nature the narrator might be beginning to challenge her own world and how she lives it. There is a sense that the narrator trusts nature yet the same cannot be said for how she feels about her own personal environment. It is possible that the narrator in her life longs for the freedom that she associates with nature.

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