The Delta


Had human character not already changed "[on] or about December 1910" as Virginia Woolf claimed, it would have changed on June 28, 1914, when Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated in Sarajevo (qtd. in Bradbury, "Modem World" IS). Like Modernism, the Great War demanded a new kind of writing. Because old assumptions about the past did not fit the postwar world, the survivors of World War I-both veterans and civilians-struggled to find new ideologies about the world and human nature in the aftermath. Virginia Woolfs solution, set down in "Modem Fiction," was to convey the "luminous halo" of life (154). In other words, she decided to write about "little daily miracles" because "[the] great revelation" which Lily so famously speaks of in To the Lighthouse "perhaps never did come" (Woolf 161). In To the Lighthouse, Woolf takes the disorientation and despair of the decade following the war and successfully turns it into one of her "matches struck unexpectedly 'in the dark" (161). She addresses war in a new, poetic, and poignant way.