Between the Acts in my opinion has one of the most interesting settings. I love the contrast between the rural English village while a war is going on, literally, right over their heads! The reader gets the small town or bubble of reality that people are living, while also comparing it to the grand world events that are coming slowly closer to them. This small backdrop of life compared to the great whole is shown through the metaphor of the play going on throughout the novel.
One would think that with a great war going on, people would not do such things as hold plays. When the world is going to ruin, why would people hold onto such trivial acts? I think Virginia wanted to capture something about the human spirit. Even in times of war and potential destruction, people are more concerned with themselves. There is a great war going on, with an enemy that stands for complete evil. The Nazis and their power struggle was very much a perfect example of good vs. evil. If they won, the world would have been a very scary place indeed. And yet, here we are presented with people worrying about plays and failing marriages. Isa’s world view seems very small indeed and her perspective is consumed with her own life.
While one might say that to hold onto past practices, or refusal to change one’s way of life is an act of bravery and resilience. However, I wonder if Virginia was trying to point out the vanities and frivolities that follow every person in life. Wouldn’t this be a time of reflection? You would think that a person would be deeper and their thoughts would be centered on the welfare of the future world, but instead they are consumed by lust and even vanity. Isa is unhappy in her marriage and attracted to another man. While the world fights the big battle, she is obsessed with her own situation.
Again the reader is passages about the reflected image. Any mirror or reflective object is of much importance to Woolf. The play itself is a sort of reflection of the audience. As the audience watches, we are essentially looking at our own selves.
Does Woolf wonder if people can truly see themselves? When we look into the mirror or at any object that reveals ourselves what are we really perceiving? As much as we fail to realize that in a play or movie we are looking at the same human mind, we refuse that it could be like ourselves. The mirror is reality and then not. In a literal sense it is reflecting the truth. However, most people do not see the reflected image in it’s true form. Our personal perspectives mold and alter the reality of the reflected image. We deny and build ourselves up with false images that are not representations of the truth. A play is not reality, and yet it mimics reality. We watch the play, laugh and cry, and not realize that we are looking at our own reflections.
In class, we talked about the Egyptian symbology in Between the Acts. Isa's name could come from the Egyptian God Isis, which is one of the main Gods and a female. I believe that she is related to the sun? Furthermore, there are multiple mentions of mud. Ancient Egyptian religion believed that all life forms had spawned from the mud of the nile. I think this has to do when it is the dry season (?) and the river dries up and there is a lot of mud...or the wet season, and the river floods a little bit and spreads mud all over the country side? I don't know, so I'm only guessing. I suppose the wet season would make more sense. In an attempt to figure out why this would be relevant I might have to take a guess of imperialism? I know that Woolf is against imperialism and her previous work of Three Guineas had a lot to do with imperialism. The three guineas had something to do with slavery at first...I think. I realize that she is vehemently against imperialism. Perhaps it's just showing the integration of different cultures?
WELCOME TO MY BLOG!
Hello all! My name is Drew Blanchette. I'm 21 years old and a class member of the Virginia Woolf Seminar. First and foremost, I must warn potential viewers that I have no knowledge of Virginia Woolf's work. I am hoping that as the class progresses and I have a chance to read her apparently fabulous works (or so I have been told) I will develop some knowledge and appreciation. As my blogs increase perhaps the reader will pick up on my progression! Hopefully whoever looks over my site will enjoy my posts and not be too bored by my analyzing attempts. Thanks ahead of time for viewing my site!