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THE LEGACY

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by

Virginia Woolf

on 8 January 2014

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Transcript of THE LEGACY

INTRODUCTION
CHARACTERIZATION
FOCALIZATION
CONNECTION BETWEEN FOCALIZATION AND CHARACTERIZATION
Narrator
"For Sissy Miller." Gilbert Clandon,
taking up
the pearl brooch that lay among a litter of rings and brooches on a little table in his wife's drawing-room,
read
the inscription: "For Sissy Miller, with my love." (1-3)
It was like Angela to have remembered even Sissy Miller, her secretary. Yet how strange it was, Gilbert Clandon
thought once more
, that she had left everything in such order-a little gift of some sort for every one of her friends. It was as if she had foreseen her death. Yet she had been in perfect health when she left the house that morning, six weeks ago; when she stepped off the kerb in Piccadilly and the car had killed her. (4-8)
Description made by relations with other characters
Psychological description, not physical (thoughts)
Sissy Miller and Angela
- Patronizing: He sees her as a defenseless child --> use of "little" (
little token, little ring, little necklace, little Chinese box, little cry of delight, little volumes...
)
Everything related to her is little --> he sees her as a child
He barely knows her --> He invites her because he thinks he owes her.

He sees her as any other woman of her kind.
Flat character in this fragment - no change
EXTERNAL DESCRIPTION BY THE NARRATOR- accumulation of traits:
Fifteen little volumes, bound in green leather, stood behind him on the writing table.
(16-17)
SISSY MILLER AND THE DIARIES
- Double descriptions. (Physical - Image) => Clandon and Angela- only psychologically.
- Accumulation of traits.
- Similar description -Secret keepers: "silent, trustworthy"-
secret- ary
- Link between Clandon and what happened.

Psycological description: made by Gilbert and by the diaries.
Not physical description:
Yet she had been in perfect health when she left the house that morning
(6-7)
Angela is also described by the relationship between Sissy and her.
Angela and Virginia Woolf similes...
Life-unhappy
Diaries
Death-suicide
She came in
. He had never
seen
her alone in his life, nor, of course, in tears. She was terribly distressed, and no wonder.
Angela had been much more
to her
than an employer. She had been a friend.

To himself
, he
thought
,
as he pushed a chair for her and asked her to sit down
, she was scarcely distinguishable from any other woman of her kind. There were thousands of Sissy Millers-drab little women in black carrying attache cases. But Angela, with her genius for sympathy, had discovered all sorts of qualities in Sissy Miller. She was the soul of discretion; so silent; so trustworthy, one could tell her anything, and so on. (26-32)

If only she had stopped one moment, and had thought what she was doing, she would be alive now. But she had stepped straight off the kerb,
the driver of the car
had said at the inquest. She had given him no chance to pull up. (21-24)
Here the sound of voices in the hall
interrupted
him.

"Miss Miller, Sir,"
said
the maid. (24-25)
Fifteen little volumes, bound in green leather, stood behind him on her writing table.
Ever since they were married, she had kept a diary. Some of their very few-he could not call them quarrels, say tiffs-had been about that diary. When he came in and found her writing, she always shut it or put her hand over it. "No, no, no," he could
hear
her say, "After I'm dead-perhaps." So she had left it him, as her legacy. It was the only thing they had not shared when she was alive. But he had always taken it for granted that she would outlive him. (16-21)
Every friend had been left some little token of her affection. Every ring, every necklace, every little Chinese box-she had a passion for little boxes-had a name on it. And each had some memory for him. This he had given her; this -the enamel dolphin with the ruby eyes-she had pounced upon one day in a back street in Venice. He could
remember
her little cry of delight.
To him, of course
, she had left nothing in particular, unless it were her diary. (11-16)
He
was waiting
for Sissy Miller.

He had asked her to come; he owed her,
he
felt
, after all the years she had been with them, this token of consideration. Yes,
he went on
,
as he sat there waiting
, it was strange that Angela had left everything in such order. (9-11)
"For Sissy Miller." Gilbert Clandon, taking up the pearl brooch that lay among a litter of rings and brooches on a
little table
in his wife's drawing-room, read the inscription: "For Sissy Miller, with my love."

It was like Angela to have remembered even Sissy Miller, her secretary. Yet how strange it was, Gilbert Clandon thought once more, that she had left everything in such order-a
little gift
of some sort for every one of her friends. It was as if she had foreseen her death. Yet she had been in perfect health when she left the house that morning, six weeks ago; when she stepped off the kerb in Piccadilly and the car had killed her.

He was waiting for Sissy Miller. He had asked her to come; he owed her, he felt, after all the years she had been with them, this token of consideration. Yes, he went on, as he sat there waiting, it was strange that Angela had left everything in such order. Every friend had been left some little token of her affection. Every ring, every necklace, every
little Chinese box
-she had a passion for
little boxes
-had a name on it. And each had some memory for him. This he had given her; this -the enamel dolphin with the ruby eyes-she had pounced upon one day in a back street in Venice. He could remember her
little cry of delight
. To him, of course, she had left nothing in particular, unless it were her diary. Fifteen
little volumes
, bound in green leather, stood behind him on her writing table. Ever since they were married, she had kept a diary. (1-17)
Double description

DESCRIPTION FROM CLANDON'S POINT OF VIEW:
Ever since they were married, she had kept a diary. Some of their very few- he could not call them quarrels, say tiffs- had been about the diary. When he came in and found her writing she always shut it or put her hand over it
. (17-19)
"The Legacy"
->
"A Haunted House" (1944)
English Modernism
Virginia: -> Feminism
-> Bloomsbury Group

ELEMENTS OF THE CONFUSION
ANGELA - CONFUSER: described by the confused.
CLANDON - CONFUSED
DIARIES AND SISSY MILLER - SECRET KEEPERS
ELEMENTS THAT CONTRIBUTE TO CONFUSION
-
Antithesis
:
"Yet how strange it was, Gilbert Clandon thought once more, that she had left everything in such order [...] It was as she had foreseen
her death.

Yet she had been in perfect health
when she left the house...
" (4-8)
-
Repetition of strangeness
: "
How
strange
it was, Gilbert Clandon thought once more, that she had left everything in such order
". (4-5) /
Yes, [...] it was
strange
that Angela had left everything in such order. (10-11)
-
Repetition of facts that contribute to strangeness
-> "
every
". (
every ring, every necklace, every little Chineese box, every one of her friends
) - add confusion.

...and differences:
Love
Death
Scarce involvement of the narrator
"Absent" narrator
Gilbert and the reader know the same about the betrayal
The characters are described through the focalization .
We remark the importance of the diaries as a very important character in the story.
The diaries are Angela
Personification of the diaries -> add importance to the character.
Double description
BY ACCUMULATION OF TRAITS
EXTERNAL DESCRIPTION:
Drab little woman in black carrying attache cases
.
INTERNAL DESCRIPTION:
She was the soul of discretion; so silent, so trustworthy, one could tell her anything, and so on
. - SIMILAR TO DIARIES
- Secret:
It was the only thing they had not shared when she was alive
. (19-20)
- Matter of tiffs:
Some of their very few- he could not call them quarrels, say tiffs- had been about that diary
. (18-19)
NAÏVE CHARACTER:
It was as she had foreseen her death
(6)- does not want to believe it.
THE LEGACY
CHANGE- IMAGE
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