"The Mark on the Wall" by Virginia Woolf : Narrated in ‘Stream of Consciousness’ Technique

With Dorothy Richardson, James Joyce, William Faulkner, Virginia Woolf also accepts the stream of consciousness technique in her writing. To record the flaw of consciousness this technique is brought into perfection by certain use of symbols and imagery where plots relegate into the second position. Her present essay The Mark on the Wall is well distinguished by a capacity for a deep and complex response to the experience of the moment, stressing the subtle to and fro activity of the mind.

            The Mark on the Wall is most probably written in the year 1919, that month of January when the authoress sits comfortably in a chair, finishing her cigarette, few old fancies touches her thought. The old castle town where the crimson flag flapping and the red knights with their perfect dress patrolling the castle is the fancy she glances in her mirror of mind. But certain Mark on The Wall that is a few inches of mental piece stops her fancy and move her to general reflections on life that comes into her consciousness.

 Now the narrator at first surrounds her thought on that mark. After careful perception she concludes that it is mark made by a nail. And if so it must have been for miniature not of a picture. With this connection she furthers her thought about the farmer occupants of that house and their likings.




            In an argumentative tone she then remarks that the mark is too big or full to be a nail’s. The mystery regarding the identity of the mark leads the authoress to reflect upon the mystery of life. On a philosophical note Virginia Woolf commands that mankind has lesser knowledge regarding the mystery of life and after life.

            She then thinks the mark is made of rose leaves. She then travels in her imagination from the world of reality to the unreality covering all the aspects of life. As the mark is a reality she touches the hole and feels its wavy shape that reminds her of the mounds in the hilly regions of southern end of England.

            In a sudden sprang of thought the authoress now decides not to disturb herself by brooding on The Mark on the Wall. She tries to find out peace or a comfort from existing things. The authoress then acknowledges us that she is quite aware of the fancies of the nature. That nature aims at reducing all the pains and pangs of life in an automatic away. It soothes her heart. The horrors in her heart are comedown. Suddenly the fancy is displayed by the rude reality of ‘The Mark on the wall’ and suddenly the authoress reveals that ‘The Mark on the wall’ is made by a snail. And to that end the thoughts that have been coming freely into her mind stop suddenly.   

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