Study Guide

Kew Gardens Modernization

By Virginia Woolf

Modernization

Ch-ch-changes."Kew Gardens" has a very distinct historical setting. On the surface, the garden setting might seem timeless, but references to war, machinery, and industrialization remind us that the characters' are living in a period of tremendous modernization. They can try to escape it by taking a pretty garden stroll, but the truth is that it's never far away…

Questions About Modernization

  1. How do references to modernization contrast with the story's idyllic setting?
  2. What's the significance of these references in the story?
  3. How does knowledge of modernization shape characters' experiences and thoughts in the story?  

Chew on This

Reminders of the modern world penetrate the characters' lives even while they stroll through Kew Gardens.

The gardens themselves might be taken as instances of modernization: they are engineered settings within an urban environment. 

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