2024 : 4 : 21
Mohammad Ghaffary

Mohammad Ghaffary

Academic rank: Assistant Professor
ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-4012-0093
Education: PhD.
ScopusId: 55573741900
Faculty: Literature and Languages
Address: Arak University


A Hundred Stalks Spreading into Heart-Shaped Leaves: A Study of Narrative Discourse in Virginia Woolf’s Kew Gardens
narratology, time, focalization, discourse representation, Woolf’s Kew Gardens
Researchers Mohammad Ghaffary


The raw materials of a fictional narrative — i.e., the “story” elements — undergo a series of modifications and conversions before turning into the final product received by the reader, i.e., the narrative “text” or “discourse.” The present research examined Virginia Woolf’s classic Modernist short story “Kew Gardens” (1919) based on Gérard Genette’s model of narrative analysis (1980), as reformulated by Shlomith Rimmon-Kenan (2002), which considers three layers for narratives, namely story, text, and narration. The various elements of each of these narrative levels in “Kew Gardens” were identified and closely explored in this study to demonstrate how a set of trivial events and ordinary characters can be rendered into an influential, thought-provoking fictional narrative in the genre of psychological Realism. The study was a qualitative library research based on content analysis, conducted in the form of a close description of the story’s textual structure according to Genette’s model. The results showed that Woolf’s story is a character-based narrative in which external actions or events are not of primary concern and that through internal focalization and the frequent use of such techniques as free indirect, indirect, and direct discourse the narrator has managed to reveal the characters’ subjective perspectives on reality, which interestingly enough also encompasses a snail’s perspective. Thus, the themes of individuals’ isolation in modern society and the role of the past in the formation of one’s present identity are effectively depicted in the text as a result of the structural and discursive devices employed by the narrator / author.