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

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

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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.

Bibliography


  1. Ivbulis, V. (1995) Uz kurieni literatūras teorija? Riga.
  2. Woolf,V. (1924) Mrs Dalloway [Online]. Available from http://etext.library.adelaide.edu.au/w/woolf/virginia/w91md/


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