Individual and Society in Virginia Woolf's Novel "mrs Dalloway"

Individual and Society in Virginia Woolf's Novel "mrs Dalloway"

Length: 1047 words (3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Good Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

According to Viktors Ivbulis (1995: 23 - 29) in Modernist fiction a special attention is paid to an individual who degrades because of the pressure from the society and is therefore shown as a small part of the society being unable to do miracles. Moreover, the 20th century's fight for the power makes the rights of an individual be dependent on the rights of the society. This individual is not a personality anymore that was established in the 19th century literature. It is a simple person, who is depressed by the highly technological world and the demands of the society and is therefore lonesome and isolated. An individual cannot compete successfully for his place in the society, as he does not even know his enemy. Therefore, he has to die at the end of the novel either physically or morally. One of the famous novels of the Modernist period in literature is "Mrs Dalloway" by Virginia Woolf, written in 1924. In the centre of it is a rich woman Clarissa Dalloway who holds high position in the society. In her life she does not lack anything from the material values, except that she starves for love and support.

Although Clarissa Dalloway has had many men in her life and she holds high position in the society and therefore she has many people around her, she is actually very lonely, isolated from the society and therefore unhappy. She has chosen Richard Dalloway to be her husband, however she loved Peter Walsh more. During the whole novel she as if explains away why it was right not to marry with Peter Walsh: " But she had often said to him that she had been right not to marry Peter Walsh; which, knowing Clarissa, was obviously true; she wanted support. Not that she was weak; but she wanted support." She did not marry Peter Walsh...

... middle of paper ...

...ips with the members of her family. Moreover, Clarissa is made trivial, people around her are interested not in her personality, but in the position she holds. The society asks from her to observe certain norms and because of this pressure from the society, individual degrades. Clarissa is not a personality, she is a simple woman, who cannot compete successfully in her life, because she does not know her opponent. Therefore, in the end of the novel, Clarissa morally dies as she is misunderstood by the society and without any possibility to fulfil herself.


  1. Ivbulis, V. (1995) Uz kurieni literatūras teorija? Riga.
  2. Woolf,V. (1924) Mrs Dalloway [Online]. Available from

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway Essay

- 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]

Good Essays
1866 words (5.3 pages)

Virginia Woolf 's Style Of A Room Of One 's Own And Three Guineas Essay

- Virginia Woolf Essay Through her texts, Virginia Woolf is able to challenge the injustices she perceived within her society, yet her arguments endure and encourage her audience to question injustices within their own unique contexts.The audience is able to reach valuable understandings about the way Woolf perceived injustices within her context, a period of change for the roles of women, through the construction, content, and language of A Room of One’s Own and Three Guineas. Both texts aim to challenge ideas and encourage change in the social structures of their individual contexts, yet remain relevant even within the present day....   [tags: Woman, Gender role, Virginia Woolf, Sociology]

Good Essays
1149 words (3.3 pages)

Humor and Tragedy in Virginia Woolf's Orlando Essay

- Virginia Woolfe's "Orlando" uses both humor and tragedy to observe humanity's often absurd and eccentric superficial constructions, both of class and gender. Woolfe creates the distinctions between male and female but continuously shatters them to reveal the illusions we create about gender. As George Meredith suggests, comedy is created when "The comic poet dares to show us men and women coming to this mutual likeness" (15). Woolfe, however, goes beyond simply bringing men and women together as equals; she blends them together as one androgynous individual, the effect of which causes us to laugh at the artificial way in which society attempts to define gender....   [tags: Virginia Woolf Orlando Essays]

Good Essays
652 words (1.9 pages)

Essay about Analysis Of Virginia Woolf 's ' The Birth Of Technology '

- Sometimes, people refer to the 21st century as the 'birth of technology '. Society has 'the world at their fingertips ' so to speak. With this being the case, it is important that each and every individual acknowledge that they are to be held accountable and responsible. Held accountable to the responsibility of educating themselves. Held accountable to see the errors in the ways of society. It is said with a heavy heart that every day there are patriarchal oppressions enforced by society to maintain power within the white, heterosexual social, political, and economic systems within the Western World....   [tags: Sociology, Woman, First Nations, Virginia Slims]

Good Essays
1111 words (3.2 pages)

Feminism And The Lighthouse By Virginia Woolf Essay

- One of the most talked about issues in today 's society is the importance of understanding feminism and debunking gender roles. These topics, which have changed and revolutionized tremendously since 1927, play a large role in Virginia Woolf’s To The Lighthouse. Woolf explores forced gender conventions and expectations, shown through the characters of Mrs. Ramsay and Lily Briscoe, that lead to harmful stereotypes and internalized misogyny and how they effect relationship dynamics. One of the most vital characters in Woolf’s To The Lighthouse is a walking stereotype....   [tags: Gender role, Gender, Woman, Transgender]

Good Essays
1404 words (4 pages)

Society, Class, and Conflict the Social Criticism of Virginia Woolf Essay

- Virginia Woolf offers interesting analysis of social pressure and social class in Mrs. Dalloway and The Years. Understanding Woolf’s message about society demands a certain amount of sensitivity and decoding on behalf of her reader. Her social criticism in both texts can be easily overlooked because she keeps it subtle and implicit, hidden in the patterns and courses of her characters’ trains of thoughts. Yet upon such close reading, the essential importance of conflict between the individual and society in Woolf’s work becomes clear....   [tags: Literature]

Good Essays
1943 words (5.6 pages)

Essay Virginia Woolf: A Room of Her Own

- Virginia Woolf, an original, thought-provoking feminist author, influenced women to fight for equality and to question the opportunities for women in literature. With her diaries, novels and poems, she stunned her readers with something they have not seen much before: women rebelling. Woolf was frustrated with women and the untouched and suppressed skills they harbor. She once said, “Women have sat indoors all these millions of years, so that by this time the very walls are permeated by their created force, which has, indeed, so overcharged the capacity of bricks and mortar that it must needs harness itself to pens and brushes and business and politics” (Feminist 595)....   [tags: thought provoking feminist author]

Good Essays
641 words (1.8 pages)

Virginia Woolf as Feminist and a Psychoanalyst Essay

- Virginia Woolf as Feminist and a Psychoanalyst When first introduced to the feminist and psychoanalytical approaches to literary criticism, it seems obvious that the two methods are opposed to each other; at the very least, one method -the psychoanalytic - would appear antagonistic to feminism. After all, there is much in Freud's earlier theories that a feminist would find appalling. It also seems to be a conflict that the feminists are winning: as feminist criticism gains in popularity, the psychoanalytic approach has apparently fallen into disfavour within the academic community....   [tags: Biography Biographies Essays]

Good Essays
1854 words (5.3 pages)

Analysis Of The Article ' Professions For Women ' By Virginia Woolf Essay examples

- Discussed in the article “Professions for Women” by Virginia Woolf are the obstacles women face when trying to become a professional writer. Woof narrates her challenges to becoming a writer by explaining the many negative thoughts she faces as well as thinking about how the experience is while working in a field that consists of many men. Through her essay, Woolf explains her lifestyle as a writer by cheerfully conveying the idea of what needs to be accomplished in order for one to achieve their desired profession....   [tags: Mind, Thought, Idea, Cognition]

Good Essays
1016 words (2.9 pages)

Modernism and Virginia Woolf Essay

- ... The most innovative and creative part of the novel consists of the subjective experience of the protagonist ‘Clarissa’ and other central characters of the novel over a single day; hereby, the reader has right to enter the thought of characters which implicitly engages her/him to make own perception of characters by existing in their minds. Woolf describes this literary style in her essay “Modern Fiction” and writes: “Let us record the atoms as they fall upon the mind in the order in which they fall, let us trace the pattern, however disconnected and incoherent in appearance, which each sight or incident scores upon the consciousness”....   [tags: consciousness, reality]

Good Essays
1294 words (3.7 pages)