The Widow and the Parrot by Virginia Woolf Essay
"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.