The narrative focuses on the
flowerbed and the characters that pass by it, weaving in and out of the minds
of numerous individuals to allow us brief insights into their thoughts and
passing knowledge of their conversation and interactions. When we read the
story, it's almost like we're some type of mind-reading ghost: all seeing, but
The narrator also spends
considerable time providing us with objective descriptions of the characters'
appearances, and also of the larger setting. We are given precise portrayals of
the flowerbed, the weather, the gradual movements and deliberations of the
snail, and the general movement of human bodies through the gardens:
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.
This quote is a kind of "summing
up" of the whole scene. It occurs in the final paragraph, when Woolf zooms
out from particular characters in order to give us a more encompassing vision
of the garden. Even then, it still manages to retain an amazing amount of
detail—figures meandering past flowers, enveloped in vapors of color and
dissolving into the scene as they recede further into the lush atmosphere.