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"Thoughts on Peace in an Air Raid" Dissection

Group project

Alexandra Melcher

on 7 February 2014

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Transcript of "Thoughts on Peace in an Air Raid" Dissection


In this project we will be dissecting Virginia's purpose, the historical context, word choice, and her directed audience.
I feel that Virginia is pulling me into what was happening right at that moment, she uses personification and words that you can picture and sound out for example: zoom, rattle, whirled, and wavering. Not only do those words grab my attention but they put an action and an image in my head "At last all the guns have stopped firing. All the searchlights have been extinguished. The natural darkness of a summer's night returns", she mastered imagery, analogy, rhetoric, onomatopoeia, metaphors and similes and personification. She also uses curious punctuation choices such as ellipses and parenthesis.

I feel that her tone evokes sadness, which is the reaction I got, she emphasizes what she's saying with figurative and metaphorical expressions. I believe that Virginia wants to leave an imprint in our psychs. Although Virginia writes about global concepts like war and peace she delivers it to the reader in a very intimate way. I think that being a female and being a feminist, Virginia's word choice reflects a slightly more feminine view and enables her to use words and phrases that male authors might dismiss as being too delicate in a story about war.

I think Virginia started this out explaining what was happening and in her words we feel the fear and desperation of that night. She paints us a picture with her words. The impact of the situation shows by her word choice and examples, "the guns on the hill go pop pop pop", I hear the gunshots while reading that. She also doesn't leave me wondering, through the entire reading I know what's happening and I can feel what's happening. At the conclusion she describes the end of the raid. How peaceful it is without the sound of bombs being dropped and war happening in the sky. I feel she is calm and thankful, "and now, in the shadowed half of the world, to sleep".

She transported her message to me and in an organized and persuasive fashion it was not forceful, I feel that this was an informative piece from Virginia Woolf. Her word choice defined her thoughts while helping in constructing my own. It's no mystery as to why Virginia Woolf's writing has had such an impact on the world through her work. Thoughts on Peace in an Air Raid goes beyond what is expected from someone
who's going through something so difficult, it's really significant.

Author's Purpose:







Word Choice:
There was a very big argument going on with pacifism and feminism at the time of this story, the 1930’s. It also reflects on the First Word War. Both of those events have had a great impact on our world. The text was published in August of 1940 rights and matters concerning women of that time. I couldn’t tell if it had a huge impact on society as a whole, just to stop the Air Raid so there would be a good homecoming.
Directed Audience
“All the idea makers who are in a position to make ideas effective are men”. Virginia's writing was directed towards men. Virginia speaks on behalf of all women.

Virginia is still battling for women to have just as much strength in their words as a men does in the political eye. She is sick of only men being able to make all the huge decisions when it comes to war, life, or how our nation chooses to stride."The defenders are men, and the attackers are men" When will women be mentioned?

A man who would read this may think that this writing was written towards women. A family member might have thought this was written towards the way they treated Virginia or the way she was raised. "It is a queer experience, lying in the dark and listening to the zoom of a hornet", As Virginia reminisces back to a time in her life.

Virginia brings you into her world and makes you wonder how much our world today would struggle if it was as rough as it was in "August 1940, during World War II". Today, women are trying to run for president. Women are finding their voice but are not struggling as much as back then.
Virginia Woolf is a strong headed woman with even stronger feminist ideals. She was also a proud Englishwoman that wanted nothing but the best for her country, especially during the times of World War II. She sometimes lashes out at men because of the frustrations and injustices done towards women. "The defenders are men, the attackers are men. Arms are not given to Englishwomen either to fight the enemy or defend herself." Regardless of that she wants her countrymen to return home safely and for peace to be restored.

The purpose of the writing is to show the ordeals people go through during World War II, even the ones not participating in it. This makes the message Woolf is trying to deliver clear from different views. Her piece showed what was happening to her country during the war and what was happening to the people. The English fought the Germans in World War II to stop Hitler, which caused damage to England, but the English also fought themselves by arguing about their different views on rights. "Women of ability are held down because of a subconscious Hitlerism in the hearts of men."

Virginia used comparisons and contrast to show what the English men and women were doing was similar and/or different. "We are equally prisoners tonight - the Englishmen in their planes, the Englishwomen in their beds. But if he stops to think he may be killed; and we too." Woolf also used ethos to show the audience what's right and what's wrong. "But there is another way to fight without arms; we can fight with the mind." Women have not a word to say in politics." Women need words to express what they have on their mind's and without that they can't fight at all.

Woolf wanted the audience to see what women went through and couldn't do in World War II and make sure it never happened again. Not only to women but to anyone who was mistreated without a reason, and it went on far too long with women. "Child-bearing is to be restricted to a very small class of specially selected women, would we submit?" Woolf is hoping to enlighten the
reader as well as make them as appalled and angry as she was when she wrote it. But
she wants more than anything if men and women could stand up for what is right and
fix what is wrong.
Full transcript