“Imagination is the one weapon in the war against reality.”
-Jules de Gaultier
Set just after one of England’s worst tragedies, Virginia Woolf’s 1925 novel Mrs. Dalloway is a vivid picture of the effects of World War I on London’s high society, often in glaring contrast to the effects of shell shock suffered by war veteran Septimus Smith. For members of high society, the War’s impact is largely indirect, mainly affecting their conversations at posh social functions. Although the war has had little impact on these people, some strive to develop a deeper understanding of the War’s main consequence: death. For Septimus, who has endured the direct impact of the War as a soldier, however, the memories and traumas of the War are more real than the peaceful life to which he has returned. At the urgent pleas of his wife, doctors unsuccessfully attempt to help him regain the blissful ignorance of war that he once had. Woolf illuminates a perpetual clash between those who merely understand the War as a continuing news story, and Septimus, who knows it as a frightening reality.
For Clarissa and others in her elite world of parties and politics, the treaty has been signed and the War is over, clean and simple. “Except,” Clarissa notes generously, “for some one like Mrs. Foxcroft at the Embassy last night eating her heart out because that nice boy was killed and now the old Manor House must go to a cousin; or Lady Bexborough who opened a bazaar, they said, with the telegram in her hand, John, her favourite, killed; but it was over; thank Heaven—over” (4-5). It is significant to observe that even these close connections are extremely rare for the upper-class populace. The fact that Clarissa ha...
... middle of paper ...
... “cure Septimus at once” from his true ailment (81).
Through an abundance of human thoughts and interactions, Woolf has created a meticulous juxtaposition of Septimus against society or human nature in order to emphasize the self-absorption and desire for conformity of London society. Londoners’ understanding of the War and its fatalities is often specifically and immediately related back to themselves, used for entertainment or to ease their own fears of death. Their “treatment” of war-related illness is unfailingly for the benefit of England’s successful, if gilded, image at large. Woolf has, therefore, illustrated England’s proud display of personal advantage for all who conform to Sir William’s “sense of proportion” by exposing the hardships that befall those who do not.
Woolf, Virginia. Mrs. Dalloway. Orlando, FL: Harcourt, Inc., 2005.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Memory in Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway Clarissa Dalloway and Peter Walsh are defined by their memories. Virginia Woolf creates their characters through the memories they share, and indeed fabricates their very identities from these mutual experiences. Mrs. Dalloway creates a unique tapestry of time and memory, interweaving past and present, memory and dream. The past is the key to the future, and indeed for these two characters the past creates the future, shaping them into the people they are on the June day described by Woolf.... [tags: Virginia Woolf Mrs. Dalloway Essays]
1972 words (5.6 pages)
- The novel Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf talks about a day of the main character named Clarissa Dalloway and the story about other people around her. One thing that I find significantly about the novel is there are two different stories about two people, a comparison of the female character Clarissa Dalloway versus Septimus Warren Smith, a shell-shocked solider that has mentally issues. Virginal Woof has successfully created a contrast between these two characters and moreover, Woolf has used several imageries and also symbolisms in the novel in order to help amplify the contrasts.... [tags: Mrs Dalloway, Virginia Woolf, World War I]
1012 words (2.9 pages)
- Mrs. Dalloway was written by Virginia Woolf in the year 1925. This stream of conscious style short novel outlines one day in the life of Clarissa Dalloway. Woolf utilizes an omniscient third party voice to narrate the story, and the point a point of view that shifts often. The narrator mainly focuses on the daily activities of Clarissa Dalloway and the madman ravings of Septimus Warren Smith. The stream of conscious style of writing is a glimpse into the mind of the narrator. It exploits the inner most thoughts and therefore it does not follow any specific pattern.... [tags: Mrs Dalloway, Virginia Woolf, World War I, Novel]
1285 words (3.7 pages)
- The Importance of Time in Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway We live in a consumer society consuming time. We use time to function smoothly but also to channel the direction of our lives. As a college student, I am constantly aware of time. I have a time frame for finishing my college career, as well as constant deadlines to meet. Daily, I divide my hours between my job, my studies, and my friends. In the midst of following external time, I strive for a balance with my internal time. My personal sense of time allows me to live in the present moment.... [tags: Mrs Dalloway Virginia Woolf Essays]
1614 words (4.6 pages)
- During the Modernity period, society transitioned into a progressive way of thinking, characterised with an Avant-garde approach to literature and the arts. While artistic approaches were transformed, civilization remained confined by the societal constraints brought about by the introduction of modernity. Virginia Woolf’s enlightened and controversial Mrs Dalloway interweaves the lives and stories of three multifocal narrators lost in life and time in Stephan Daldry’s The Hours. Both texts leave their characters succumbing to their opulent internal self becoming constrained by the contexts, which surround them, forced to battle or surrender to gender restrictions and the insusceptibility of... [tags: Mrs Dalloway, Virginia Woolf, Mental health]
1111 words (3.2 pages)
- In Mrs Dalloway, the modernist writer Virginia Woolf undermines the usual conventions of prior prose fiction by adopting an innovative approach to time. She contrasts the objective external time and subjective internal time that structure the plot of the one-day novel. In fact, the story takes place on a single day in June and, by the use of two important techniques, namely the stream of consciousness mode of narration and the interior monologue, the reader is constantly flowing from the present to the past or the future.... [tags: Mrs Dalloway, Virginia Woolf]
2726 words (7.8 pages)
- Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway It is apparent throughout the Virgina Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway that the character development and complexity of the female characters of the story are concentrated on far more than their male counterparts. It is my feelings that the magnitude of this character development comes about because of the observations and feelings of the main character Mrs.... [tags: Virginia Woolf Dalloway]
1125 words (3.2 pages)
- Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway “Imagination is the one weapon in the war against reality.” -Jules de Gaultier Set just after one of England’s worst tragedies, Virginia Woolf’s 1925 novel Mrs. Dalloway is a vivid picture of the effects of World War I on London’s high society, often in glaring contrast to the effects of shell shock suffered by war veteran Septimus Smith. For members of high society, the War’s impact is largely indirect, mainly affecting their conversations at posh social functions.... [tags: Virginia Woolf Dalloway Essays WWI]
1866 words (5.3 pages)
- Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway In Jacob's Room, the novel preceding Mrs. Dalloway, Virginia Woolf works with many of the same themes she later expands upon in Mrs. Dalloway. To Mrs. Dalloway, she added the theme of insanity. As Woolf stated, "I adumbrate here a study of insanity and suicide; the world seen by the sane and the insane side by side." However, even the theme that would lead Woolf to create a double for Clarissa Dalloway can be viewed as a progression of other similar ideas cultivated in Jacob's Room.... [tags: Novel Analysis Dalloway Woolf]
737 words (2.1 pages)
- An Analysis of Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway Somewhere within the narrative of Mrs. Dalloway, there seems to lie what could be understood as a restatement - or, perhaps, a working out of - the essentially simple, key theme or motif found in Woolf's famous feminist essay A Room of One's Own. Mrs. Dalloway does in fact possess "a room of her own - " and enjoys an income (or the use of an income) that is at least "five hundred a year - " (Room: 164). But most importantly, Clarissa Dalloway also deals with ways of working out female economic necessity, personal space, and the manifestation of an "artistic" self-conception.... [tags: Mrs Dalloway]
3340 words (9.5 pages)
- Doctor Faustus by Christopher Marlowe
- Personal Paralysis in Dubliners by James Joyce
- The Inklings by Humphrey Carpenter
- Jonson's "To the Memory of My Beloved, The Author, Mr. William Shakespeare, and What He Hath Left Us"
- Evolving of Characters in Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice
- The Tragedy of Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare