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Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Wolfe and Love Medicine by Louise Erdrick. The characters in both stories are similar in that the women are independent and are tied to men that they are not married to. Clarissa and Lulu have very similar personalities.
CLARISSA AND LULU
Love Medicine and Mrs. Dalloway are completely different stories, but their women are alike in many ways. Both Clarissa and Lulu are tied to men that they are not married to. They want to be recognized for who they are. Both women are independent and rule their men. Clarissa and Lulu are strong characters; yet, they are weak at times. Both stories are about women who love and survive in a difficult world. The characters found in both stories could be described as similar.
Both stories seem to revolve around one central character. "At the same time, the points-of-view are unified around the subject of one family. This accentuates the theme of the breakdown of relationships, while showing the unique tie the family and reservation life have for these people" (Studyworld 1). This is true for Mrs. Dalloway. Clarissa is the main character that everything is centered around. From the beginning of Mrs. Dalloway, Clarissa is seen and to the end of the story. Both stories have strong emphasis on the women as main characters. Both women know what they want and eventually get it.
In the beginning Clarissa is not sure of herself. "Clarissa knew now not to define or label anyone because she felt at one with the world, both young and old, and omnipresent" (Classic Notes 1). The same is true of Lulu. She is very unsure of herself until later in the story. Both authors in Love Medicine and Mrs. Dalloway portray the women as weak at first, then the women become stronger and more sure of their selves.
Both women experience grief. In the story of Mrs. Dalloway, Clarissa "realizes that his death is a sacrifice for her, and for the others at her party and everywhere, to allow them to continue living" (ClassicNotes 23). Virginia Wolf uses Septimus as a way for Clarissa to die, but not literally. "Wolfe originally planned for Clarissa to commit suicide, or simply die, at the end of the novel. Instead, she decided that a part of Clarissa, constructed in the form of a man destroyed by war and society, would take his own life in order for the rest of Clarissa to appreciate the life she had" (Classic Notes 23). The same can be seen in the story of Love Medicine, "The novel is clearly feminist in its depiction of two strong women who raise families in adverse situations and, in the end, bond with each other after their children are raised and the man they both had loved has died. Marie and Lulu not only survive, but look back on their lives with satisfaction, having endured without the support of a strong male figure or the help of God or the government" (Studyworld 2). It is like they only begin to live when they lose someone important to them. Grief gives the women character that they might not have had if they had not loved and come to appreciate their own life after the male has died. "According to Erdrich's holistic vision, survival and continuity depend upon a character's ability to internalize both the masculine and the feminine, the past and the present" (Studyworld 2). This is feminist and both "Love Medicine" and "Mrs. Dalloway" show the importance of how death actually changes their life by bringing positive appreciation for life after death.
Lulu is in love with Nector Kashpaw, while he is engaged with Marie Lazarre. During the story the history of his obsession with Lulu is told. In the story of Mrs. Dalloway, Clarissa still loves Peter although she had refused to marry him. "Clarissa asked him if he remembered Bourton. He did but it pained him to remember as it reminded him of her refusal to marry him" (ClassicNotes 5). Peter was obviously in love with Clarissa. "Peter realized his new love, Daisy, would pale next to Clarissa. He did not want to tell her about Daisy because Clarissa would think him a failure" (Classic Notes 5). Sadly, in both stories the women do not get to appreciate the men that they actually…[continue]
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Septimus and Blanche: Victims of Patriarchal Culture Septimus in Mrs. Dalloway and Blanche in A Streetcar Named Desire are interesting fictional characters who suffer from mental illness in the 1920s. Septimus' illness stems from his wartime experiences while Blanche's illness stems from her position as an oppressed woman under patriarchy. In a sense, patriarchal society has produced both illnesses because exploitation of others, war, and oppression of women are characteristic of