Issues in Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway

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Issues in Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway

Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway revolves around several of the issues that preoccupied the Bloomsbury writers and thinkers as a group. Issues of androgyny, class, madness, and mythology run throughout the novel. While that is hardly an exhaustive list, these notions seem to form the core of the structure of the novel. Woolf herself, when envisioning the project, sought to produce “a study of insanity and suicide, the world seen by the sane and the insane side by side.” This issue of madness, in particular, gives the novel its form as we follow the twinned lives of Septimus Warren Smith and Clarissa Dalloway. These preoccupations, occuring in the biographical and intellectual lives of the disparate members of Bloomsbury, revolved around Virginia framing the preoccupations and concerns of the text.

In terms of the ambiguous gender identities running throughout the text (Clarissa’s frigidity towards her husband, her sexual view of women, and Septimus’s effeminite nature), there is a tendency towards the asexual or the androgynous in the...
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