2. THE ECLIPSE (Virginia Woolf)
1. The Reaction of the People to See the Solar Eclipse
Q. No.1: What was the mood of the people when they came to know about the solar eclipse? OR. Write a note on the reaction of the people at the idea of sighting the solar eclipse. OR “We had an odd sense of keeping an appointment with an actor of such vast proportions that he would come silently and be everywhere.” Discuss. OR “We were no longer in the same relation to people, houses and trees; we were related to the whole world …………….” Discuss. OR Discuss the hustle and bustle during the night before eclipse.
Answer: Virginia Woolf in the essay “The Eclipse” narrates to us the memorable and historic incident which took place in England. She skillfully gives the graphic picture of the solar eclipse. The details are so minute and artistic that we feel that as if we had been the part of the company of the people who had witnessed the eclipse.
On a morning of June, in the northern parts of England, the solar eclipse was to take place. Virginia Woolf has discussed the feelings of the people during the night when the solar eclipse was to take place. The people of England spent a restless night. In the morning, there was a great hustle and bustle. All the stations and roads were crowded with people. The farmers and their families did not lag behind. Like all the others, they also joined the procession. It seemed as if they were going to the church for worship. The sky had got great significance for them. They had lost their individual identity. They were knit into one brotherhood. (Words: 174)
2. Theme of the Essay OR Situation during the Solar Eclipse
Q. No. 2: Describe the solar eclipse as presented by Virginia Wolf. OR Discuss the situation during the solar eclipse. OR What is the theme of the essay? OR What is the significance of the conclusion that the whole fabric of civilization was modelled and moulded? OR Explain the following paragraph in simple English: “The world became more and more solid, it became populous; it became a place where an infinite number of farm houses, of villages, of railway lines have lodgment until the whole fabric of civilization was modelled and moulded.” OR Write a short note on the significance of the sun in life from your study of the essay “The Eclipse”.
Answer: In this essay, the authoress points out the importance of the sun. She believes: “If the sun disappears, there will be no colour and the earth will be dead.” She tries to prove it with the help of solar eclipse.
When the solar eclipse was to take place, the sky was cloudy. The sun rose and started running fast but the thick clouds covered the sun completely. The sun became totally eclipsed. It lasted for 24 seconds but changed the colours of the things. It also created anxiety and fear in the minds of the people. It seemed as if “The flesh and blood of the world was dead, only the skeleton was left.” But soon after the eclipse was over, the appearance of the sun enlivened everything. Life began to smile in its original colours. The anxiety and fear were gone. There were number of farmhouses, villages and railway stations, etc. on the earth. It seemed that the civilization had been remoulded. That is why, she remarks: “The earth we stand is made of colours; colours can be blown out and then we stand on a dead leaf.” (Words: 189)