The Effects of Society in Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway Essay

The Effects of Society in Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway Essay

Length: 3069 words (8.8 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Society is a constant changing idea, whether that change be from region to region or a period of time. People move through it without thinking what they really are doing. Often they do not realize how much pressure society places on one’s being. It is the basis of how a person forms their opinions, beliefs, and morals. The structure of behavior rests in the society one is raised in. People’s acceptance of one another and a desire to conform create a world where people are struggling to fit in. Virginia Woolf sees this.

Woolf views society as a center for conflict for the characters in her novel. They struggle with the internal dilemma of whether they should be who they want to be or what everyone else wants them to be. In the novel Mrs. Dalloway, Virginia Woolf uses stream of consciousness to demonstrate the pressures and effects of society on different characters in the 1920’s. Using both Clarissa Dalloway and Septimus Smith, Woolf reveals how two different realms of society, the upper class and the middle class, can place very similar pressures and produce very similar effects on the people who dwell within each.

Presented as a dynamic character, Septimus Smith is shown as a once idealistic poet who crosses over into a world where his thoughts focus solely on the injustices of humanity. This is evident when Woolf describes him saying, “It was a case of complete breakdown- complete physical and nervous breakdown, with every symptom in an advanced stage.” (Woolf 144) War, in this novel, is shown as the life-altering element of Septimus’s life. This is because of a combination of the lost of his friend Evans and Septimus’s inability to mourn that loss. Evans was Septimus’s closest friend, and his death is al...

... middle of paper ... for the main characters of the novel but for anyone who allows it to be.

Sources Cited

Blackstone, Bernard. Virginia Woolf: A Commentary. London: Hogarth Press, 1949. (An older but excellent essay.)

Daiches, David. Virginia Woolf. New York: New Directions, 1963.

Hafley,James. Glass Roof: Virginia Woolf as Novelist University of California Press, 1954

Hoff, Molly. Woolf's Mrs Dalloway. The Explicator; June 22, 2002. Web. 28 Aug. 2015.

Jensen, Emily. "Clarissa Dalloway's Respectable Suicide." Virginia Woolf: A Feminist Slant. Ed. Jane Marcus. Lincoln: U of Nebraska P, 1983.

Kane, Julie. Varieties of Mystical Experience in the Writings of Virginia Woolf. Twentieth Century Literature Vol 41 Iss 4 1995.

Woolf, Virginia. Mrs. Dalloway. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1981.

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

Gender Roles in Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Essay

- Though usually viewed as a violent play about turbulent marriages, Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf. should be regarded as an early feminist text. Bonnie Finkelstein writes that the 1962 play portrays and analyzes the damaging effects of traditional, stereotypical gender roles, particularly for women; the play serves to point out how unrealistic, useless and extraordinarily damning they ultimately are. Finkelstein notes that the 1963 publication of Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique unofficially began a re-evaluation of gender roles in the United States (Finkelstein 55)....   [tags: Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?]

Powerful Essays
2087 words (6 pages)

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]

Powerful Essays
1866 words (5.3 pages)

Virginia Woolf - Moving Beyond a Convoluted Memory of Her Parents Essay

- Virginia Woolf - Moving Beyond a Convoluted Memory of Her Parents Why would I start with Julia Duckworth Stephen to get to Virginia Woolf. One answer is Virginia’s often quoted statement that "we think back through our mothers if we are women" (Woolf, A Room of One’s Own). Feminism is rooted not just in a response to patriarchy but also in the history of females and their treatment of each other. Part of feminism is a reevaluation of the value of motherhood. But what does Virginia’s mother have to do with Virginia’s writing....   [tags: Virginia Woolf]

Powerful Essays
2260 words (6.5 pages)

Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own Essay

- Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own Missing works cited In A Room of One's Own, Virginia Woolf ponders the plight of women throughout history. Woolf 'reads the lives of women and concludes that if a woman were to have written she would have had to overcome enormous circumstances' (Woolf xi). Woolf's initial thesis is that 'a woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction' (Woolf 4). Throughout the book, however, she develops other important conditions for artistic creation....   [tags: Virginia Woolf Room One's Own Essays]

Powerful Essays
1789 words (5.1 pages)

Essay on A Room of Ones Own by Virginia Woolf

- A Room of Ones Own by Virginia Woolf      In 1928, Virginia Woolf was asked to speak on the topic of “women and fiction”. The result, based upon two essays she delivered at Newnham and Girton that year, was A Room of One’s Own, which is an extended essay on women as both writers of fiction and as characters in fiction. While Woolf suggests that, “when a subject is highly controversial-and any question about sex is that-one cannot hope to tell the truth,” (Woolf 4) her essay is, in fact, a thought out and insightful reflection on the topic....   [tags: Room Ones Own Virginia Woolf Essays]

Powerful Essays
1656 words (4.7 pages)

Analysis of Mrs. Dalloway by – Virginia Woolf Essay

- Analysis of Mrs. Dalloway by – Virginia Woolf Mrs. Dalloway, published in 1925, is a romantic drama with deep psychological approaching in to the world of urban English society in the summer of 1923, five years after the end of World War I. The book begins in the morning with the arrangements for a party Clarissa Dalloway will give and it ends late in the evening when the guests are all leaving. There are many flashbacks to tell us the past of each character, but it does not leave the range of those few hours....   [tags: Play Woolf MRS Dalloway]

Powerful Essays
1456 words (4.2 pages)

Virginia Woolf 's `` Professions For Women `` Essay

- In the Broadview Anthropology of Expository Prose, Buzzard et al. describe Virginia Woolf’s essay “Professions for Women” as a “lecture to a society of professional women” (100). As a queer writer, Woolf’s voice during the 1930’s received much attention, along with praise and criticism. Woolf’s fight for women’s empowerment and gender equality are evident throughout her essay, and as of now, in the 21st century, it is unequivocal that Woolf saw herself as a feminist. However, as Woolf writes her “Professions for women” she makes use of the blanket terms “the woman” and “herself” to refer to a general professional woman....   [tags: Feminism, Gender, Woman, Sociology]

Powerful Essays
1445 words (4.1 pages)

Psychiatric Evaluation and Diagnosis of Virginia Woolf Essay

- I have chosen to write about Virginia Woolf, a British novelist who wrote A Room of One’s Own, To the Lighthouse and Orlando, to name a few of her pieces of work. Virginia Woolf was my first introduction to feminist type books. I chose Woolf because she is a fantastic writer and one of my favorites as well. Her unique style of writing, which came to be known as stream-of-consciousness, was influenced by the symptoms she experienced through her bipolar disorder. Many people have heard the word "bipolar," but do not realize its full implications....   [tags: Bipolar Disorder]

Powerful Essays
773 words (2.2 pages)

Virginia Woolf: Just a Misunderstood Women Essay

- Virginia Woolf can be considered one of the most influential authors of her time, she has helped pave the way for the female gender for generations, and possibly generations to come. Using her feminist approach to get her voice heard, Virginia Woolf was able to get her point across in a powerful yet meaningful way. My research of Virginia Woolf involved looking at her life to determine why she turned out the way she did, and why she wrote the way she wrote. From her early childhood, Virginia Woolf had a rough upbringing....   [tags: feminism, gender, discrimination, literature, rape]

Powerful Essays
936 words (2.7 pages)

A room of one's own Essay

- Virginia Woolf's ambitious work A Room of One's Own tackles many significant issues concerning the history and culture of women's writing, and attempts to document the conditions which women have had to endure in order to write, juxtaposing these with her vision of ideal conditions for the creation of literature. Woolf's extended essay has endured and proved itself to be a viable, pioneering feminist piece of work, but the broad range of ideas and arguments Woolf explores leaves her piece open to criticism over certain concepts which seem to contradict themselves....   [tags: Literary Analysis, Virginia Woolf]

Powerful Essays
1898 words (5.4 pages)