Outwardly, Clarissa Dalloway is an ideal image of the nineteenth century English social elite, part of a constantly shrinking upper class whose affluent lifestyle was touched in ways both subtle and terrible by the war raging outside their superfluous, manicured existence. Clarissa’s world revolves around parties, trifling errands, social visits, and an endless array of petty trivialities which are fundamentally meaningless, yet serve as Clarissa’s only avenue to stave off the emotional disease and disconnect she feels with the society in which she exists. Clarissa’s experience of England’s politically humbled, economically devastated postwar state is deeply resonant in her subconscious and emotional identity, despite seeming untraceable in her highly affected publ...
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... of Europe’s young men and women. As Winston Churchill observed in a retrospective on World War One, “A cruel disillusionment was at hand... All were looking forward to some great expansion, and there lay before them but a sharp contraction; a contraction in the material conditions for the masses" (Churchill, 13). The characters in Mrs. Dalloway compose a devastatingly specific narrative of human isolation and suffering in a postwar climate, and the means by which they come to terms with a vast and unparalleled cultural disenchantment.
1. Woolf, Virginia. Mrs. Dalloway. London: Harcourt, Inc, 1925. Print.
2. Shakespeare, William. "Cymbeline." Great Literature Online. 1997-2009
(1 Nov, 2009).
3. Churchill, Winston S. The Aftermath - being a Sequel to The World Crisis. Macmillan, London, 1944
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