Another Reality: “A Haunted House” by Virginia Woolf Essay

July 16, 2021 by Essay Writer

Updated: Mar 14th, 2020


There are a lot of different short stories which dwell upon ghosts and other specific horrors. Reading such stories people experience raise of adrenalin and different feelings connected with excitement. Therefore, when people see the title The Haunted House, they expect to read about different horrors.

However, The Haunted House by Virginia Woolf is an absolutely different story, it does not horrify anyone, it tries to deliver simple joy and happiness to people. It is really strange to read a description full of soul satisfaction and significance of simple human values in the story titled The Haunted House, however, this is exactly what one is going to have while being acquainted with this story.

Virginia Woolf was one of the first writers who tried to present usual things for people from another, strange angle. The Haunted House by Virginia Woolf focuses around the soul and the expression of the human feelings presented as the centers of the discussion which seem to be forgotten, but there is always someone who can remind about the priorities in this world.

Signs of modernism

Virginia Woolf was one of the first writers who wanted to change the vision of literature, who had a desire to change the perception of a written word as the description of the seen objects and shift to the description of the feelings and perceptions. Working in the trend of modernity, Virginia Woolf wanted to change human vision of the world literature.

Reading The Haunted House, it becomes obvious that she managed to do it. A short story The Haunted House makes people interfere into the inner world of the main characters, but not to search for the reasons why people experience such feelings. Virginia Woolf writes with the purpose to remind people about the feelings which exist and how people experience those.

A ghost couple in The Haunted House is a great example. It is really essential to make sure that people have not forgotten such human virtues as happiness, kindness, sympathy, guilt, responsibility, and many other ones which people experience but sometimes forget about it. Working in the modern direction, Virginia Woolf tried to show people that it is possible to think differently.

The Haunted House by Virginia Woolf is such a story which makes people look another way round at simple and ordinary things. The Haunted House by Virginia Woolf is the story written in the modern trend. Feelings and emotions is the main focus of the story. Moreover, the angle from which the story is described is different as well.

The ghosts in this story are not terrifying, they are full of nostalgia and memory about happy past. There are no horrifying moments in the story, the soul is shown as the main priority for mankind. Reading the story, it is possible to see the ghosts who are presented as the connection between the past and the present life of the house.

It is significant that the life of people is not the center of the story, the moments and the feelings people experience there are really important in the writing. The story has history content. This is the end of the World War I and people are disappointed, they trust in nothing and do not believe that something good may happen. The ghosts in the story step silently trying not to wake others up.

They are looking for a treasure. The reasure in this story is the happiness, the moments of joy a ghost couple experienced when lived there. They found what they were looking for, “Here we slept,” she says. And he adds, “Kisses without number.” “Waking in the morning–” “Silver between the trees–” “Upstairs–” ‘In the garden–” “When summer came–” ‘In winter snow time–” “The doors go shutting far in the distance, gently knocking like the pulse of a heart (Woolf, 2009, p. 7).

Going further, the couple finds those who is living in the house now and they see the light in the heart. The greatest pleasure in human life is to understand that people have not lost that specific gift to love and to be loved, to value the moments they spend together.

Interpretation and discussion

The main idea of a short story is to show that human soul and the desire for happiness are the main values of human life. Living in this world, we search for different things, strive for many objects, however, this all is wrong. The moments during which people lived together and were happy during those moments should be valued most of all.

Reading the story, it becomes obvious that the ghost couple is the messenger from the past aimed at bringing the values from the past and reminding about loyalty, dedication, and the respect for the past. The story is the reminder that no matter what happens now and what difficulties one experiences, there should always be a way out.

The main idea of this story is to show that we live in the world where all people have difficulties, however, it is important to remember and value the moments when we are happy. Having read this story, there is a great desire to go and embrace those who you love as these are people who make us happy.

Reading this story, each one thinks about their best moments, about their periods of life when they were happy. It is a great feeling when you have such moments and you understand that you want to have those moments better. Reading The Haunted House by Virginia Woolf you understand this is the life you want to live and the end you want to have.

Each of us wants to be happy, each of us wants to find it here, there, and in the garden, and upstairs. Having read this story, one is encouraged by it and tries to make sure that he/she values family and feelings we experience with those who we love.


Therefore, it may be concluded that The Haunted House by Virginia Woolf is another story which everyone should read. It is impossible to retell the stories by Virginia Woolf as they do not dwell upon objects, it is the reflection of human feelings which may be just perceived, not described. Words seem extra in this case.

The Haunted House by Virginia Woolf should be read by anyone especially when they think that they have appeared in a bad situation. Looking at a couple who have died and who search for the best moments they had when they were alive, you should understand that there is not better treasure than life and people who we love.

Reference List

Woolf, V. (2009). The Haunted House. New York: Grafton.

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