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In this essay an analysis of process types will show how Rhoda a character from Virginia Woolfs novel The Waves experiences herself and the world It will be demonstrated that Rhoda is a kind of displaced person in the universe unable to act upon this world but longing for a transcendental immutable dream world In her interior monologue Rhoda builds up a strong contrast between the room in which the party takes place associated with agitation terrors heat fire scorn individual details and the tiger and another world immune from change associated with rest lovers coolness pools beauty absence of individual features and the swallow This basic contrast is not only reflected in the circumstances of location eg here versus on the other side of the world but also in the nature of the material process types the main type of process in this text Here in the room Rhoda is mainly acted on Goal she is pursued by terrors seized by people pierced by arrows and by scorn cut by tongues metonymic for people and so on In those instances when she does act in the room the predicator is usually modalized or the action is expressed in a question both of which construals imply that the action is not necessarily carried out she plans to do something I shall edge I shall twitch she should do something I must take I must answer or she wonders what to do What answer shall I give What face can I summon Moreover the material clauses in which Rhoda is Actor are often intransitive and therefore not Goal-directed I shall edge between them or the Goal is inanimate I shall twitch the curtain The few mental behavioural and relational clauses are reduced in import in a similar way as if I saw I know no one I must prevaricate as if I had an end in view All these construals show that Rhoda is fundamentally incapable
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