Virginia Woolf: Jacob's Room

(1746 words)
  • Anna Snaith

Jacob's Room is a novel about masculinity and war. A pacifist herself, Woolf dealt in so many of her novels with both the traumatic effects of war on individuals, families and nations, and the social and psychological causes of war. Written after the First World War, Jacob's Room is set in pre-war England, but the surname of the protagonist, Jacob Flanders, points immediately to the inevitability of his death in war. The name suggests the wasted lives of young soldiers, as well as the act of memorialisation, through the image of the poppy. Woolf was also engaged in her own private elegies. Critics have noted various autobiographical inspirations for Jacob: Woolf's much-loved brother Thoby, who died in 1906 of typhoid …

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Snaith, Anna. "Jacob's Room". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 09 March 2001
[, accessed 27 November 2015.]