Mrs Dalloway Character Analysis

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Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway is a novel that follows the life of Clarissa Dalloway and her connections to the characters introduced in the story. The interaction between these characters is a clear reflection of the issues that were present during post-World War I England. A common motif that is recurring within the novel is the division between the classes. As mentioned Clarissa is an upper-class woman who is married to Richard Dalloway a politician. Similar to many other women Clarissa is bound to the expectations that come with her status, where being a dependent on a man is a common notion. In fact, Virginia Woolf illuminates the significance of men in the novel, especially with characters such as Ms. Kilman, Elizabeth and Sally Seton. The social system presented in Woolf’s work dictated the role of women in…show more content…
Kilman experiences in the novel. For example, when the book states she couldn’t receive a teaching position due to her German ancestry. She doesn’t have anything to her name, however, the mackintosh is her identity. “The shapeless mackintosh successfully keeps the prying eyes of the world from glimpsing her body, and symbolizes the completeness with which Miss Kilman has closed herself off from life”(Andresdottir 34). Old and battered it may be, it represents her pride and the struggles she faced as a lower class woman and shows how difficult it can be to gain a better lifestyle in a society ruled by the upper class. Although we don’t explicitly see how inferior classes are treated, Mrs. Dalloway’s brief interaction with Ms. Kilman illuminates this discourse. As the novel approaches their confrontation we learn they have an extreme dislike for each other, where to Mrs. Dalloway, Ms. Kilman represents everything she despises and even comments on the way she dresses for women, where Ms. Kilman views Mrs. Dalloway as “the most worthless of classes- the rich with a smattering of culture”( Dalloway
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