Framing of Setting

“Then his companions, going a little further, waited for him to come up, poking their parasols into the beach, looking around them at the sea and sky and clearly sensible of the beauty of the day.”

James, “The Middle Years,” p. 336

The description of the two ladies as “poking their parasols into the beach” reminds me of the description of Mrs. Dalloway plunging “at Bourton into the open air” from the passage from “Mrs. Dalloway” that we read in class. The writing for both of these segments seems to frame the characters as ‘breaking into’ their settings rather than just framing the settings as backdrops for the character to exist in. And rather than expositing the natural features of the setting, James describes how the two characters are experiencing their time and place, and how they appreciate the natural beauty surrounding them.

Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway (London: Hogarth, 1925), 3.