Study Guide

Kew Gardens Tough-o-Meter

By Virginia Woolf

Tough-o-Meter

(7) Snow Line

The story is challenging for two primary reasons. First, the density and complexity of Woolf's language makes it pretty advanced reading. You have to pay close attention to her ornate descriptions and convoluted sentences, but the beauty of her prose and the precision of her descriptions are well worth the effort. Secondly, the story is not driven by a suspenseful plot, and this can make it a bit tedious to read at times. Paragraph-long descriptions of flowers get old, understandably. So instead of reading for plot, try to read for the beauty of the language, like this:

Thus one couple after another with much the same irregular and aimless movement passed the flower-bed and were enveloped in layer after layer of green blue vapour, in which at first their bodies had substance and a dash of colour, but later both substance and colour dissolved in the green-blue atmosphere. (29)

Immerse yourself in the lush scene that Woolf describes, let it come alive, and you'll be glad you stuck with it.Ā 

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