The pararhyme creates a definitive, conclusive end to her distraction. She returns directly after to the mark. The implication is that swarming thoughts are similarly fruitless.
It is also reminiscent of the way she pulls short and limits her moments of imagination at the start of the story. Concentrating on the narrator's thoughts and mental states, Woolf tested the limits of the short story form by placing her emphasis on the inner life rather than on external action. Variations of stream-of-consciousness or interior monologue techniques like those in "The Mark on the Wall" were also being explored at the time by James Joyce and D.
Lawrence, but Woolf combined modernist techniques with a new feminist consciousness. The narrator's play on immobility and the supple movements of her thought anticipate Samuel Beckett 's immobile, speculative characters.
Woolf's emphasis on philosophical reflections, as critics like James Hafley and Avrom Fleishman have observed, makes the story resemble an imaginative essay, but the subtle characterization of the speaker places it in the realm of fiction.
The story is an epistemological satire about the narrator's attempts to identify a mark on the wall across the room without getting up from her chair.
Speculating about the mark, she recognizes the forces that prevent her from seeing the world as it is. She rejects the idea of the mark being the result of a nail because the only reason to place a nail there would be to hang a picture frame. The idea of the picture frame sends her off on a tangent about the personalities of the previous occupants of the house.
After comparing the act of living to a being a package zipping through a vacuum chute following a growing frenzy about how haphazard the whole thing really is, she suddenly grows melancholic with morose thoughts of death before pondering over the idea that the mark on the wall is not a hole, after all, but is perhaps just a circular bit of inky substance. The ignorance of humanity! Opals and emeralds, they lie about the roots of turnips. What a scraping paring affair it is to be sure!
Shot out at the feet of God entirely naked! Tumbling head over heels in the asphodel meadows like brown paper parcels pitched down a shoot in the post office! Yes, that seems to express the rapidity of life, the perpetual waste and repair; all so casual, all so haphazard The slow pulling down of thick green stalks so that the cup of the flower, as it turns over, deluges one with purple and red light. I want to think quietly, calmly, spaciously, never to be interrupted, never to have to rise from my chair, to slip easily from one thing to another, without any sense of hostility, or obstacle.
Woolf says she "understands Nature's game-her prompting to take action as a way of ending any thought that threatens to excite or pain". Now one can easily It begins with one, the established idea of how tablecloths should be made, but the mind is relieved from the doxa long before it focuses on the mark on the wall. It is not clear whether or not the narrator is looking at the mark on the wall when she escapes from her doxa, although Rosenfeld presents the mark as the only way to stop the mind from pursuing a doxa.
The tablecloths to reality to masculinity to war to freedom train of thought exemplifies what Rosenfeld calls "the Woolfian mode of observation":"The Woolfian mode of observation is a form of inattentive attention that allows the unorthodox and the seemingly incidental to occupy center stage in the mind long enough to un-do certainties about the way the world works or what one "should" believe, but not long enough to harden into new doxa.
The one part of the Woolfian mode of observation that does not seem to fit completely in this instance is the awkwardly phrased "inattentive attention. Dorothy Mackenzie Hoare describes the process in a similar manner, but does not call it "inattentive": Fix the object which is here used as a bright flashing thing is used in some hypnotic experiments, and for the same effect-to enable the mind, while having an outward focus of attention, to retreat into the subconscious stream and let the mind sway round all the associations it brings with the freedom and suppleness of a gymnast.
It implies a very delicate balancing of attention-on the one hand sensitiveness to the subconscious free movement of thought or emotion, and on the other, a continual intellectual control.
Attention is simply the direction of thought; one cannot "balance" one's attention inattentively. The idea of letting the mind "sway" may at first seem "inattentive," but the attention in this story is constantly being parceled out, allocated to certain thoughts in a carefully tended manner.
Consider the following passage: Everybody follows somebody, such is the philosophy of Whitaker; and the great thing is to know who follows whom.
London: Chatto and Windus,
The story is an epistemological satire about the narrator's attempts to identify a mark on the wall across the room without getting up from her chair. Liminal and liminoid zones are the keys to analyzing The Mark on the Wall from a feminist perspective.
In its mediating vision "The Mark on the Wall," which was collected in Monday or Tuesday , anticipates Woolf's major novels, including Mrs.
So, she focuses her thoughts on the sensual qualities of wood. What are our learned men save the descendants of witches and hermits who crouched in caves and in woods brewing herbs, interrogating shrew-mice and writing down the language of the stars? And the less we honour them as our superstitions dwindle and our respect for beauty and health of mind increases Attention is simply the direction of thought; one cannot "balance" one's attention inattentively. It is obvious to the reader that a discussion on this subject is highly education, and you would need to be somewhat educated to even participate or initiate this kind of talk. I prefer to view "The Mark on the Wall" as an analysis of the patterns of human thought - including both subjectivist thought and skepticist thought - distinguishing the chaos of introspection from organized writing.
Retired Colonels for the most part, I daresay, leading parties of aged labourers to the top here, examining clods of earth and stone, and getting into correspondence with the neighbouring clergy, which, being opened at breakfast time, gives them a feeling of importance, and the comparison of arrow-heads necessitates cross-country journeys to the county towns, an agreeable necessity both to them and to their elderly wives, who wish to make plum jam or to clean out the study, and have every reason for keeping that great question of the camp or the tomb in perpetual suspension, while the Colonel himself feels agreeably philosophic in accumulating evidence on both sides of the question.
I understand Nature's game-her prompting to take action as a way of ending any thought that threatens to excite or to pain. Amidst all this history going on around her, Woolf and other modernist writers began to take literature down a new path. Perhaps it is a shadow. The tablecloths to reality to masculinity to war to freedom train of thought exemplifies what Rosenfeld calls "the Woolfian mode of observation":"The Woolfian mode of observation is a form of inattentive attention that allows the unorthodox and the seemingly incidental to occupy center stage in the mind long enough to un-do certainties about the way the world works or what one "should" believe, but not long enough to harden into new doxa.