Miss Adele Amidst The Corsets And Virginia Woolf's Street Hauntings

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Observation is the action of gaining information through paying careful attention to a particular thing. While observing, judgements are often formed by natural instinct of the individual. In Zadie Smith’s “Miss Adele Amidst the Corsets” and Virginia Woolf’s “Street Hauntings,” we encounter two protagonists who see themselves as observers of the cities and the people in which they live. Through both of their encounters, the protagonists form judgments about the situation and reveal to us more opinions than facts of observation. The matter in which they observe is different, but both characters ultimately believe what they are observing is the truth, even though it may just be an opinion. Miss Adele and Woolf’s narrator are both describing…show more content…
. . Miss Adele felt like a nail being hammered into the floor. She grabbed the curtain and yanked it shut” (Smith 175). This quote is important in the theme of observation, because Miss Adele gives an analogy to how uncomfortable and belittled the man made her feel. Shortly after, Miss Adele confronts the man with her feelings when the text says, “‘Hey, you,’ said Miss Adele, ‘Yes, you, sir. If I’m so disgusting to you? If I’m so beneath your contempt? Why’re you taking my money’” (Smith 178)? This quote further states how angry Miss Adele is with the man and how she believes he is judging her and finds her disgusting. Miss Adele forms an initial judgment much more preferable to the man’s wife who helps her in the dressing room. The husband and wife are bickering throughout the time Miss Adele is in the shop, and she often states her belief that the man is the reason for all the conflict. Miss Adele’s difference in options about the two is revealed when she says, “‘Listen, your wife is friendly--she’s civilized, I’m not talking about your wife. I’m talking about you. Listening to your...whatever the hell that this--your sermon--blasting through this store” (Smith 178). The judgments Miss Adele makes in this situation are important to the theme of observation in the story. Miss Adele uses

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