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Reading Assignment for “Old Mrs. Grey”

First, color mark 5 or more patterns in the essay.  Don’t forget to make a key.  Your patterns should be specific and labeled specifically as well.

Then answer the questions below.

  1. What sort of “rest” do you think Woolf might be talking about in the first paragraph and why?
  2. As the essay progresses, Woolf writes “Of all this however only seven foot by four could be seen from Mrs. Grey’s corner.”  What is “all this?”  How do you know?
  3. Discuss your understanding of Mrs. Grey.  Who is she?  How does Woolf portray her?
  4. Refer back to question #2.  What significance is there to the fact that Mrs. Grey can only see a “seven foot by four” section of “all this?”
  5. By the end of the essay, what sort of “rest” do you think Woolf is really talking about?  Why?
  6. Give your reaction to the final images in the essay:  “We put out the eyes and the ears; but we pinion it there, with a bottle of medicine, a cup of tea, a dying fire, like a rook on a barn door; but a rook that still lives, even with a nail through it.”  What effect(s) does this sentence create?  How do you know?