Life is perhaps one big search to discover who we truly are.  As we grow older, we also change.  As we move from place to place and from group to group, people see us in different lights, and we are indeed impacted.  As all of these transformations affect who we are, our perception of ourselves often times begins to blur.  As if we are a Monet painting, from far away we appear as a complete, oft beautiful product, but with a closer, more examining look, we are made of thick lines and messy colors.  We are more than the reflection in the mirror, more than the face in pictures, more than the image in others’ minds.  Virginia Woolf thoroughly explores these issues by making readers question how perception is different from reality.  By using defamiliarization, presenting the everyday in a strange way, Woolf juxtaposes our understanding of who we are and how those around us influence how we see ourselves.  When we strip away everything people perceive and the material things, then we can truly begin to examine ourselves for who we really are, regardless of whether or not we like what we see.

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