Virginia Woolf’s stream-of-consciousness style of narration is essential to her method of providing social criticism. Instead of forcing extreme physical situations or conflicts into her text, Woolf instead offers nuanced observations through her characters’ patterns and trains of thought. Virginia Woolf said of Mrs. Dalloway, “I want to criticise the social system, and to show it at work, at its most intense” (Zwerdling), a statement that may surprise some readers. However, allowing the reader to witness each individual thought of the characters as they are linked together helps provide insight into how the social system influences their thoughts, memories, and ultimately their identities. The strength of Woolf’s social criticism comes from her ability to infer judgment in this fashion and presents interesting perspectives on class conflict, socialization self-restraint, regret, and coming to terms (or rejecting) with the conditions ...
... middle of paper ...
...s assuming particular identities and suppressing their desires. Through Rose, Woolf shows us that rebellion against this social order comes at a cost. Meanwhile, through Clarissa the reader learns of the the regret that must accompany assuming a social role for the sake of material success. Instead of focusing on the technological and economic progress of her time, Woolf highlights the psychological consequences of social change. As societies grow more complicated and intense with their development, her stream-of-consciousness style provides her readers with insight into the individual costs that we all must pay.
Woolf, Virginia. Mrs. Dalloway. Orlando: Harcourt, 1981. Print.
Woolf, Virginia. The Years. Orlando, FL: Harcourt Brace & Company, 1937. Print.
Zwerdling, Alex. "Mrs. Dalloway and the Social System." PMLA 92.1 (1977): 69-82. Print.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- 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)
- 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]
1656 words (4.7 pages)
- Outcry Against Conformity in Who's afraid of Virginia Woolf. Who's afraid of Virginia Woolf. may be viewed as a criticism of American society in the 1960s. Edward Albee saw 'the responsibility of the writer...to be a sort of demonic social critic': thus the play became a reaction against the illusionary plays of its time. Two lines from the play are directly lifted from the works which Albee is mocking: 'Flores para los muertos' is from A Streetcar named Desire and Martha's speech - 'Awww, tis the refuge we take...' - is from a play by Eugene O'Neill.... [tags: Who's Afraid Virginia Woolf Essays]
1646 words (4.7 pages)
- Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own Though published seventy years ago, Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own holds no less appeal today than it did then. Modern women writers look to Woolf as a prophet of inspiration. In November of 1929, Woolf wrote to her friend G. Lowes Dickinson that she penned the book because she "wanted to encourage the young women–they seem to get frightfully depressed" (xiv). The irony here, of course, is that Woolf herself eventually grew so depressed and discouraged that she killed herself.... [tags: Virginia Woolf A Room of One’s Own]
1324 words (3.8 pages)
- Women's Roles During Times of War and Virginia Woolf's Three Guineas With the prevalence of war goddesses in most traditions from China to Greece to Ireland, women have been separated from the front lines of war for centuries. The goddesses, the divine representations of women in the ideal, are torn between dual roles: that of Minerva, the goddess of wisdom and just war, and that of Vesta, goddess of hearth and home. These two roles, warrior and mother, are not necessarily as very different as they might appear at first glance.... [tags: Virginia Woolf Three Guineas Women Essays]
2929 words (8.4 pages)
- Female Relationships in Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway Clarissa Dalloway, the central character in Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway, is a complex figure whose relations with other women reveal as much about her personality as do her own musings. By focusing at length on several characters, all of whom are in some way connected to Clarissa, Woolf expertly portrays the ways females interact: sometimes drawing upon one another for things which they cannot get from men; other times, turning on each other out of jealousy and insecurity.... [tags: Woolf Mrs. Dalloway Essays]
1447 words (4.1 pages)
- Women who want to escape the label "woman writer" (as opposed to writer--the masculine norm) have had to write like one of the boys, de-sexing themselves. Super-feminine lady writers, if they stick to their nice nook, will be both praised and despised for doing what comes naturally. But the woman writer who refuses these categories blows the scheme sky-high and incurs the wrath of the gods. (Michele Roberts in The Independent, 1997) Perhaps more than any other late-twentieth century British woman writer, Jeanette Winterson has taken to heart Woolf's advice in A Room of One's Own that "a woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction" (4), but Winterson has also, as M... [tags: Virginia Woolf, A Room of One's Own]
2795 words (8 pages)
- Comparing Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway and Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway and Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights share similarities in many aspects, perhaps most plainly seen in the plots: just as Clarissa marries Richard rather than Peter Walsh in order to secure a comfortable life for herself, Catherine chooses Edgar Linton over Heathcliff in an attempt to wrest both herself and Heathcliff from the squalid lifestyle of Wuthering Heights. However, these two novels also overlap in thematic elements in that both are concerned with the opposing forces of civilization or order and chaos or madness.... [tags: Compare contrast Woolf Bronte Essays]
1672 words (4.8 pages)
- Virginia Woolf was born Adeline Virginia Stephen, in 1882. She suffered immensely as a child from a series of emotional shocks (these are included in the biography of Virginia Woolf). However, she overcame these incredible personal damages and became a major British novelist, essayist and critic. Woolf also belonged to an elite group that included Gertrude Stein, James Joyce, Ezra Pound, and T.S. Eliot. Woolf pioneered in incorporating feminism in her writings. “Virginia Woolf’s journalistic and polemical writings show that she made a significant contribution to the development of feminist thought” (Dalsimer).... [tags: Biography Biographies Essays]
1886 words (5.4 pages)
- Virginia Woolf http://www.*.com/Reports/Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf. Edward Albee In Albee's play, he reveals the shallowness and meaninglessness of contemporary society, and exposes the falsity of "The American Dream". In doing this he refers to many different facets of society such as alcohol, social conventions, measures of success and corruption on a number of levels. Violence manifested in both language and action, reflect the frustration of the characters in not being able to live up to society's expectations.... [tags: Papers]
989 words (2.8 pages)