The Widow and the Parrot by Virginia Woolf Essay

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"The Widow and the Parrot”, written by Virginia Woolf, is a tale that speaks of the power of wisdom along with the origin of true rewards. Written for her two grandnephews, Julian and Quentin Bell, the short story resonates with those in such a way that changes ones perspective on their livelihood. "The Widow and the Parrot" is based on a true story, showing Woolf's true intentions in creating a lighthearted, "improving story" with a moral (Mills 304). Julian Bell illustrated the story; however, Quentin Bell who then created an afterword explaining the true origins of the tale published it sixty years after its origin. Virginia Woolf, considered one of the best modernist writers, vividly depicts in her short stories that feminist writing …show more content…
With quite successful writing career, Virginia Woolf, because of her extreme mental illness, commits suicide at the age of fifty-nine.
"The Widow and the Parrot" begins in the early twentieth century, in the small village of Spilsby, Yorkshire, when Mrs. Gage and her dog, the protagonist, receives a letter informing her of her brother's death. In his will, it states that her brother, Joseph, leaves her, "his entire fortune; three thousand pounds sterling" (Woolf 1). This tragic news comes as a delight to the elderly widow as she sets out on her journey to retrieve her newfound wealth in Lewes, Sussex. When Mrs. Gage arrives at her brother's house, no one is able to find the fortune mentioned in the will; however, the only item of worth seems to be a parrot, which Mrs. Gage plans to sell, as she desperately needs the money. Mrs. Gage heads home and plans to return the next day, but as it becomes dark, she becomes lost. Fortunately, she finds a bright light that she hopes will guide her home. Unfortunately, the light does not illuminate her way back to Spilsby but instead back to Joseph's house, as there has been a great fire in his home. As the townsfolk gathered to watch the house burn, Mrs. Gage cried out for the safety of the parrot as those who watched cared not if the bird died. With the death of James, the parrot, on her conscience, she is unable to live her life happily thereafter.

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