Essay about Mrs. Dalloway By Virginia Woolf

Essay about Mrs. Dalloway By Virginia Woolf

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Throughout Virginia Woolf’s novel, Mrs. Dalloway, the reader encountered many different people living in post-WWI London. These characters that Woolf created have different backgrounds, points of view, concerns, and mental states. Through these variances she clearly showed the many intricacies of life in the city. One of the most intriguing of all the characters she crafted is Septimus Warren Smith. Through intertwining story lines, from all the different points of view including his own, it becomes obvious that Septimus was very unique. The relationship between him and the rest of the city had an interesting dynamic as well. Septimus was wrought with the overwhelming feeling of isolation because of the other character’s lack of understanding for his condition. This was ultimately what led Septimus to committing suicide. Through the eyes of his wife, Lucrezia Smith, and of his two doctors, Dr. Holmes and Dr. Bradshaw, it was noticeable that their solutions were to hide Septimus from the rest of the city and to ignore what was truly the cause for his depression. This represented the city’s honest feelings towards those who differed and did not fit into society’s expectations of them.
To completely understand Septimus Smith one must look at his history. Septimus came to London from Stroud to become a poet, and when notice of the “European War” broke out, “Septimus was one of the first to volunteer” (82-84). He went to fight for England, which in his mind symbolized all that he held dear in life. England was where he enjoyed Shakespeare’s plays, and where his love, Miss Isabel Pole resided. At first, in the army, he flourished. He developed into a man of authority, and also made one of the most defining friendships of his life. His ...


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...g the true reason behind the people of the society that didn’t fit in because of their thoughts or emotions by saying they lacked the perspective that seclusion would give them. Dr. Bradshaw became just another person who represented society to Septimus; self-centered and self-serving.
The culmination of all this turmoil is regrettably in the suicide of Septimus Warren Smith. He ended his life when he heard Dr. Holmes coming up to visit him despite his wife’s protestations, and with all that he had gone through in his life and in that day with Dr. Bradshaw, he realized that he would never escape humanity. He would never escape the Dr. Holmes’s and Dr. Bradshaw’s – there would always be more of them. The lack of empathy for his condition and the alienation done by his wife and the two doctors showed society’s relationship with mental illness in the post-WWI London.

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