Virginia Woolf's The Legacy

 
 
 
 
In Virginia Woolf's short story "The Legacy," Gilbert Clandon is a widower whose wife left him the collection of diaries she has kept since their marriage. Upon reading them, the wife he thinks is completely devoted to him reveals she has been in love with another man, known only as "B.M" in the diaries (Woolf 5). By the end of the diaries, Gilbert realizes his wife did not die by accident but instead killed herself to be with her lover who committed suicide when she rejected his desire to be with her. This analysis will show Angela commits suicide because she is so utterly unhappy in her own marriage but cannot end it.

Angela and her husband are members of upper-class society. Angela has a secretary and Gilbert a post for the government. The Clandon's life completely revolves around Gilbert's career and his social obligations because of it. Childless and always busy with work, he discovers in his diaries that Angela had become increasingly unfulfilled in their marriage. As she writes in the diary, "How I wish that Gilbert had a son" (Woolf 4)! She is proud of her husband and supports him, but Angela has not

     
 
 
 
    

 

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