The Eclipse by Virginia Woolf – Analysis

The eclipse Virgina Woolf

The Eclipse is an essay written by famous author Virginia Woolf. In the next lines, you will read the summary and analysis of this essay.

“The Eclipse” gives a beautiful description of the solar eclipse. People had gathered from different parts of the country to reach Yorkshire Moors. All and sundry were moving towards north. The writer, along with the people had reached a Yorkshire roadside. People were in high spirits. It was a cold morning with snow all around. The sky gave a charming look. All eyes were turned towards it as if the people were going to have communication with it. In severe cold, the river, the fields, the trees and the flowers looked colorless and pale.

The meeting place of the people was a high rock in Yorkshire Moors. They stood there like statues in the open sky. The sun was rising steadily. Its rays were falling on the clouds which looked like small white islands floating in the sky. The trees and villages were covered with golden light. The snow began to melt. Son the sun was in its full blaze. People’s suspense grew. Just then a race of hide and seek between the sun and the clouds started. Sometimes the clouds blocked his way, but the next moment the sun dashed through them. Sometimes he was seen running behind them, but soon they grew thick and covered him. Finally, the sun lost the race. The whole sky was covered in a cloud blanket. The twenty-four seconds during which the eclipse had to happen had begun. People were in great suspense. A dark shadow over the moor appeared until it was total dark. The sun, the fountainhead had been totally blotted out. It hung like skeleton in the sky.

Very soon the eclipse was over. The sun began to appear gently on the other side of the world. Its light spread gradually like a hoop of color. Steadily the light spread all around the world. Once again the villages, farm houses and railway lines were covered with golden light.

The sight of the eclipse reminds the writer that the earth gains its color and life from the sun. The moment this color is gone, as in case of eclipse, the earth turns into a dead leaf.

The essay depicts natural beauty in an appealing manner. It is full of word images describing different colors spread by the golden rays of the sun on snow in winter. The picture of the clouds floating in the sky attracts our attention.

Some Important Questions

What were the experience and feelings of the people before and during the solar eclipse?

The people who had come to watch the eclipse were highly excited. They very impatiently waiting for the moment. Though it was severe cold, yet they stood on the marshy ground not caring they might catch cold. Some were even sitting on the ground, eating and drinking as if they were on picnic. Some of them were strangely dressed. But all looked dignified. Irrespective of their individuality they appeared members of one brotherhood who had come with the only purpose of witnessing the eclipse. They all stood in a disciplined manner in a line. In cold, they stood still like statues. They had come to salute the dawn. They appeared to be ancient people of England, who used to come to Stonehenge to worship the sun. Though the present people were not the worshipers of the sun, yet their excitement proved them to be the worshipers.

What is the meaning of sentence “The flesh and blood of the world was dead”?

The sun is not only the source of light but also life. Plants, trees, crops, birds, animals, and human beings all depend upon the sun for their survival. The change of weather and the cycle of seasons is also caused by the sun. The earth too revolves around it. In other words, the sun is the pivot of the universe. Our earth itself was originally part of the sun. The other planets moving in space are actually parts that broke away from the sun millions of years ago. The clouds, the rain, the dew and snow all depend on the heat of the sun. All the colors in the universe are the creation of sunlight. So it is safe to say that the sun is the flesh and blood of the world. The world without it can’t be imagined.

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