The opening line of Mrs. Dalloway tells the reader a lot about the title character: "Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself." Woolf immediately wants to portray Clarissa Dalloway as an independent woman, but one who relishes participation in life. The mention of flowers in the first sentence foreshadows some kind of event or party, as buying flowers is a symbolic act. From the opening sentence, the rest of the book pans out to reveal Clarissa Dalloway's participation in parties and social events and hints at her role as a hostess.
Following the one-sentence paragraph that opens the novel is a brief paragraph illustrating Clarissa Dalloway's spirited nature and love of life. The sentences itself are abuzz with activity, as Woolf attempts to parallel her characterization with diction and tone. Phrases are brief and fast-paced, reflecting the hurried activity of preparing for a party. "Rumplemayer's men…… [Read More]
" Both Clarissa and Septimus think about the same quotes. "Fear no more the heat o' the sun / Nor the furious winter rages." This phrase first comes to Clarissa's mind when she sees it in a book. It "appears twice before it becomes a part of Septimus's thought, where it ironically reassures him just before his death."
Clarissa and Septimus are both sensitive individuals with deep emotional issues. While Clarissa is a "perfect hostess" who shows great creativity and social warmth in her parties, she is essentially a cold person. Peter recognizes this coldness as something "mortally dangerous" to Clarissa and says it is "the death of her soul"(Woolf, 77). Clarissa knows that she is cold: "She could see what she lacked. It was not beauty; it was not mind"(40). This coldness keeps her from the love and the openness with people that should otherwise come naturally to someone…… [Read More]
hen discussing Virginia oolf's fictitious character's in the novel Mrs. Dalloway, one can ultimately decide that these characters are filled with diversity and dimensional character. As the reader, I wholeheartedly disagree that the characters "are not perfect illustrations either of virtue or of vice." They are quite the contrary! These characters are perfect illustrations of virtue and high merit. Their lives are filled with commonalities that all humans can relate to. This gives oolf's characters the pizzazz that keeps readers coming back for more generation after generation.
Clarissa Dalloway, the central character, is a complex woman. Her relations with other women reveal as much about her personality as do her own rumination. By focusing at length on several characters, all of whom are in some way connected to Clarissa, oolf expertly portrays the ways females interact: sometimes drawing upon one another for things which they cannot get from…… [Read More]
Mrs. Dalloway's Release
Hard to believe it had been a whole year; the party seemed just yesterday and yet, so long ago; she was new person since then; well, not so very different; only in some ways, of course; she was less dependant than she had been, more easy with only herself to consult; when she woke in the morning the day didn't loom quite so dangerously. She did miss him, despite all the space he had given her, much more than she imagined possible; oh, she had cried at first, of course, the initial shock was so jarring and it was all so unexpected.
He was fine the night before at the party, but the next day he declared himself indisposed; how was she to know it was something serious? Sensible Richard, always so careful of his health, always so moderate in all his habits; so dull and pleasant;…… [Read More]
Her remembrances of Peter, though, are different because they have the effect of affirming for her that she made the right decision in rejecting him. As she thinks of him, her conflict is not that she regrets not marrying him. Instead, the conflict for her is that it underscores how it is hard to actually know oneself and others. She calls him "her dear Peter" and says "he could be intolerable; he could be impossible; but adorable to walk with on a morning like this." She also remarks that "they might be parted for hundreds of years, she and Peter; she never wrote a letter and his were dry sticks; but suddenly it would come over her, If he were with me now what would he say?" (8-9). The past has a powerful effect on Clarissa Dalloway, but the effect is not the same as it is on Peter. Perhaps…… [Read More]
These elements of suffering and true friendship contribute to Clarissa's ultimate spiritual survival, despite her society and her own tendency towards flippancy.
Clarissa's illness brings with it a number of results. Her personality and outlook become altogether deeper than might be expected. She for example surprises the reader with her awareness of her own flawed nature. Perhaps her illness has brought her into contact with the flaws of the society around her and consequently the flaws that she has inherited.
She is for example deeply aware of the lack of depth in her regard for societal rank. This is awareness is partly the result of her illness and partly due to the opinions of people she cares about. Peter for example things that she is a snob, while Richard finds her and the parties she enjoys childish. Furthermore it appears to Clarissa that Richard has many worthy causes for which…… [Read More]
He talks to his dead war buddy Evans, and fears he cannot feel anything at all (Woolf 86). In comparison, Clarissa is extremely interested in what people feel, and she is not afraid to show her own feelings toward her friends and guests, even if they are "effusive" and overly enthusiastic (Woolf 167).
Septimus enters Clarissa's life in many ways, even though she never meets him. He is in the mind of Peter when Peter first visits Clarissa, and he even thinks that Clarissa would have talked to him, while he just walked by ignoring the young, obviously distressed couple (Woolf. "A young man (that is what Sir William is telling Mr. Dalloway) had killed himself. He had been in the army.' Oh! thought Clarissa, in the middle of my party, here's death, she thought" (Woolf 183). This talk of death really makes Clarissa stop and think about her own…… [Read More]
Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia olfe 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…… [Read More]
ut of all this what could the most observant of friends have said except what a gardener says when he opens the conservatory door in the morning and finds a new blossom on his plant: -- it has flowered; flowered from vanity, ambition, idealism, passion, loneliness, courage, laziness, the usual seeds, which all muddled up (in a room off the Euston Road), made him shy, and stammering, made him anxious to improve himself
Flowering" as utilized in this passage pertains to society's disenchantment of life in England, which is, as enumerated by Woolf, full of "vanity, ambition, idealism, passion, loneliness, courage, laziness." Symbolic of the social change occurring in English society, Septimus, Clarissa, as well as Peter, all embodied the English individual who have come to a point wherein s/he "must...come to terms with his past, his present, and his future" (Weiss, 2005:218). In as much as the city hid…… [Read More]
The Mental Illness of Virginia oolf and Septimus Smith
Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia olf explores the fragile nature of the human psyche and the effects of trauma on the human condition. First published in 1925 in England and written during the infancy of modern psychology, one of the most important themes of this novel is mental illness. One of the characters in the novel, Septimus Smith, displays mental issues and this work lays bare the way in which people with such illnesses were treated for their malaise at that time. This paper will examine a few of the parallels between the life of Virginia oolf and Septimus Smith.
Virginia was only 13 when her mother's death triggered a nervous breakdown, the first of her many bouts of mental illness. After their father died in 1904, Virginia moved to a house in Bloomsbury with her two brothers and her…… [Read More]
Virginia Woolf’s novel Mrs. Dalloway contains many of the hallmarks of the author’s style and thematic concerns, including a critique of gender roles and concepts of mental illness. Protagonist Clarissa, the eponymous Mrs. Dalloway, reflects on the trajectory of her life. Self-reflection is a lens through which she develops a cogent critique of the entire social system in which she lives. Clarissa’s reflections, catalyzed by her observations of men and women in her social circle, comprise a pessimistic point of view. Septimus’s suicide then highlights the fact that there is no way out of the patriarchal structure; there are only ways of coping with its immutable power. In Mrs. Dalloway, Woolf employs Clarissa as a vehicle for critiquing patriarchy and all it entails: including class-based social hierarchies, gender bias, and heteronormativity.
In Mrs. Dalloway, one of the themes is the way patriarchy constrains the organic evolution of relationships. Clarissa has…… [Read More]
Clarissa in "Mrs. Dalloway" by Virginia Woolf
Mrs. Dalloway" by Virginia Woolf is a novel that chronicles the life of Clarissa Dalloway, a woman torn between preserving her own identity and maintaining the image that she wants to present to the public. Through different characters in the novel, particularly Peter Walsh's character, Clarissa's character is given depth, and as the novel progresses, the readers' perception of Clarissa changes, from being an irresolute woman to being a determined one as the novel ends. The following texts discuss Clarissa Dalloway's transition from her dual self-perception and concept of herself as a woman and the woman and individual she has become upon learning of Septimus Smith.
In the initial phase of Clarissa Dalloway's character presentation in the novel, she is characterized as a woman confused of what she really is, what she stands for in the midst of a high-class English society. At…… [Read More]
Ultimately, Mrs. Dalloway's opinion of herself is highest when she is giving parties. Woolf writes, "Every time she gave a party she had this feeling of being something not herself, and that every one was unreal in one way; much more real in another" (Woolf 171). She knows she has a gift for bringing people together, and it is this gift that makes her life worthwhile. It is odd, because the entire reason for her being (at least to her) is superficial and another jab at English society by Woolf. The parties are the grounds for the wealthy to socialize and show off, while they are attended by the low-paid servants, the poor who form the backbone of English society. Ultimately, the novel condemns this society, and Clarissa Dalloway's simple character is at the forefront of this condemnation. Her simplicity and reliance on pleasing others represents all that is wrong…… [Read More]
In her novel "Mrs. Dalloway," Virginia Woolf demonstrated a distinctly modern style as she revealed the dynamics of perception rather than simply writing another "conventional" story, like many other writers of her time. Michael Cunningham, in a tribute to Wolff, took her story and modified her modern style with his own unique writing in "The Hours."
Cunningham played with Woolf's writing styles in his novel, intensifying her clever style. For example, Woolf had an unusual method of making her characters experience backward launches of memories, which were usually sparked by some type of image. In addition, she would jumble time and place to show her readers the reality of human consciousness and experience. Cunningham mimicked her style in "The Hours" yet added to the excitement with his postmodern styles. Therefore, while Woolf's plot was simple, Cunningham's was decidedly complex.
In his introductory statement, Cunningham discusses Woolf, hinting that she…… [Read More]
Authentic Representations of Self universal theme of transitional literature is the sacrifice of self. Many characters, within some of the greatest works of literature express longing as a main theme, as if they are living a life that is not quite what they had in mind. DH Lawrence, Virginia oolf, Beryl Bainbridge and Doris Lessing, all develop characters within their works that establish the idea of a denial of authenticity of self. The four works and the four characters which best describe this sort of sacrifice of self are: Lawrence's Paul Morel in Sons and Lovers, oolf's Clarissa Dalloway in Mrs. Dalloway, Lessing's Susan Rawlings in To Room Nineteen and Charlie from Bainbridge's Clap Hands, Here Comes Charlie.
Even from the start Paul Morel from Sons and Lovers was different. More delicate than other children and the expression of grief through depression that brought on tears is a foreshadowing of…… [Read More]
Woolf / Women in Violence and War
The current paper deals with the use of stream of consciousness and narrative technique by Virginia Wolf. The author has discussed how Woolf comes and goes in time and space to reveal her inside feelings, and why she used them especially in time of war and domestic violence.
Much has been written about Woolf's use of the stream-of-consciousness technique used widely by other Modernist writers of her time such as DH Lawrance and James Joyce. Stream of Consciousness is the technique use by Woolf and she is considered the pioneer of this technique. The stream of thought was first proposed by William James, Harvard Professor of Psychology in 1890.
In a diary entry that Woolf wrote on the 23 of February in 1926, she compares the writing process she went through while writing Mrs. Dalloway with the process she experienced while writing…… [Read More]
Interconnected Life is worth living -- suicide, art, and the surprises of the Hours
She is going to die. That much is certain -- Virginia oolf is one of the most famous suicidal authors in all of modern and modernist literature. But even when one knows this terrible fact, one cannot help but ask how, and why as her story unfolds before one's ears and eyes. The structure of The Hours also forces one to ask, what are the connections between oolf and the other people, past and present, that pay homage to this great artist's literary works over the course of the narrative? For The Hours not only encompasses oolf's biography and literary works, but other, less famous women who look to oolf for inspiration and guidance. Long after the author herself is dead, she lives on in her work's themes of the connected nature of all humanity and…… [Read More]
Women in War and Violence
Women War and Violence
The purpose of this paper is to analyze the theory of being and becoming, and to discuss how this theory relates to war and violence in Virginia Woolf's portrayal of female characters in her novels. Being and becoming relates the theories of existence, and how one becomes and matures as an entity in society. It is evident throughout Woolf's lifetime that her character's evolve from simple creatures consumed with thoughts of darkness and death, that through a myriad of experiences with power, control, and pain they are able to transform their lives from simple existence into complex portrayals of beauty and lives that reflect the art of becoming human beings consumed with the beauty of all life has to offer.
To understand being and becoming, and how this relationship exists with regard to war and violence, and further with Woolf…… [Read More]
And while Clarissa is not repulsed at all by her reflection in the window, Mrs. oolf is another story, as far as how she sees herself. "She does not look directly into the oval mirror that hangs above the basin...she does not permit herself to look." The mirror, to Mrs. oolf, "is dangerous; it sometimes shows her the dark manifestation of air that matches her body, takes her form but stands behind... [and] she washes her face and does not look..."
Virginia oolf, in her husband's eye, is "pale and tall, startling as a Rembrandt...she has aged dramatically, just this year, as if a layer of air has leaked out from under her skin. She's grown craggy and worn...suddenly no longer beautiful." Not only has Virginia lost her loveliness, she is joined by the devil.
There is evil living within a brilliant mind, the ultimate juxtaposition that defines a…… [Read More]
Virginia Woolf and Her Works as Mediums of Feminism
Virginia Woolf was among the rare writers who have put their talents and ideologies into writings, particularly as a patron of equality to women. Considered as one of the founders of feminism, there were quite a number of literary works that show Woolf's passion for promoting feminism. Some of this includes the following literary masterpieces.
To the Lighthouse
A Room on One's Own (1929)
Three Guineas (1938)
Women and Fiction (1929)
Professions for Women (1929)
Much of Woolf's literatures depicted her strict criticism on how the society put little importance to the female gender. Also, she showed in the context of her works how prominent the female gender can play important roles in the society, both socially and politically. Much of Woolf's works have in fact depicted political thoughts that have endeared the hearts and minds of many readers.
The information…… [Read More]
hen conducting an ideological critique, the researcher must be concerned with the way ideology is evidenced (or repressed) in the artifact, and a useful concept for identifying these "traces of ideology" is the notion of the ideograph, or the "political language which manifests ideology," which, according to Michael McGee, is "characterized by slogans" (Foss 248, McGee 5). McGee argues "that ideology in practice is a political language, preserved in rhetorical documents," and as such, can be identified in rhetorical artifacts via the "vocabulary of ideographs" frequently deployed in speech. Here it is important to note the importance of context, because in general McGee identifies ideographs as particular words, but one need not view these specific words as eternally and always ideographs; that is to say, these specific words may be identified as ideographs "by the usage of such terms in specifically rhetorical discourse, for such usage constitute excuses for specific…… [Read More]
This full spectrum of relationships implies that fully-functioning and developed societies can form around these relationships, and that they are not dependent upon male relationships whatsoever. The strength of the females in the Color Purple culminates in such an organization of their community; and, we are led to believe, that this particular community possesses the capacity to satisfy the women's physical and spiritual needs far better than any male-dominated society could offer.
oolf does not make this same contention in "The New Dress." Although it could be argued, from her other works, that she might possibly agree with such an ultimate organization of female society, "The New Dress" seems to focus more upon the inadequacies of social communication in general, irrespective of gender. This is not to say that gender is not a concern in the story, merely that the overall organization of the society that Mabel finds herself in…… [Read More]
women's places through the writing of British fiction. Using three classic examples of women's fiction in British literature the writer examines the overt and underlying relationship women have in the world and with society throughout the evolvement of literature. There were three sources used to complete this paper.
Throughout history authors have used their works to explore societal lessons. British literature is well-known for its ability to draw attention to moral, societal or other lessons by which the society reflects on the changes it experiences. The role of females has been a favorite topic of British authors for many years, perhaps spurred on by the various class elements that society has experienced along the way. Three classic works of British fiction provide a blueprint of women's changing role in society by allowing for a time span within their measurement. Charlotte Bronte's, "Jane Eyre"; Virginia Woolf's, "A oom of One's Own";…… [Read More]
Doom in the luest Eye and the Voyage Out Doomed From the eginning:
The Inevitability of Death in the luest Eye and the Voyage Out Commonality is a funny thing. Who would suppose that a young, white twenty-four-year-old, turn of the twenty-first century, English lady might have a great deal in common with a young, adolescent, black American girl? This is exactly the case, however, between Virginia Woolf's main character, Rachel in The Voyage Out, and Toni Morrison's Pecola, in her work, The luest Eye.
Despite their differences in time, location, culture, and circumstance, the characters in the two novels share a common fate based on a common cause. oth characters begin life in unfortunate circumstances that foreshadow the inevitable doom that results from their respective positions in life.
Morrison's The luest Eye, opens with the words, "Here is the house."
It starts out innocently enough -- yet, even before…… [Read More]
These young men were not immersed in the high modernist traditions of Virginia Woolf and T.S. Eliot: rather, they were immersed in the experience of war and their own visceral response to the horrors they witnessed.
Thus a multifaceted, rather than strictly comparative approach might be the most illuminating way to study this period of history and literature. Cross-cultural, comparative literary analysis is always imperfect, particularly given the linguistic challenges presented by evaluating German poetry in relation to its British counterparts. Contextualizing the British war poets requires a certain level of understanding how the war was seen by the other side, and by alien eyes. More is likely to be gained than lost by reading the German war poets in translation. Yet reading the German poets in translation allows the reader to appreciate the influence of symbolism and expressionism in their work that was not present even in the harsh…… [Read More]
40"Lie close," Laura said, 41 Pricking up her golden head:
42"We must not look at goblin men, 43We must not buy their fruits:
Who knows upon what soil they fed
Their hungry thirsty roots?"
46"Come buy," call the goblins
Hobbling down the glen.
48"Oh," cried Lizzie, "Laura, Laura, 49 You should not peep at goblin men."
Lizzie cover'd up her eyes, 51 Cover'd close lest they should look;
Laura rear'd her glossy head, 53 and whisper'd like the restless brook:
54"Look, Lizzie, look, Lizzie, 55 Down the glen tramp little men.
One hauls a basket, 57 One bears a plate, 58 One lugs a golden dish
Of many pounds weight.
How fair the vine must grow
Whose grapes are so luscious;
How warm the wind must blow
Through those fruit bushes."
64"No," said Lizzie, "No, no, no;
Their offers should not charm us, 66 Their evil gifts would harm us."…… [Read More]
omen and Gender Studies
Of all the technologies and cultural phenomena human beings have created, language, and particularly writing, is arguably the most powerful, because it is the means by which all human experience is expressed and ordered. As such, controlling who is allowed to write, and in a modern context, be published, is one of the most effective means of controlling society. This fact was painfully clear to women writers throughout history because women were frequently prohibited from receiving the same education as men, and as the struggle for gender equality began to read a critical mass near the end of the nineteenth century, control over women's access to education and writing became a central theme in a number of authors' works, whether they considered themselves feminists or not. In particular, Charlotte Perkins Gilman's 1892 story The Yellow allpaper features this theme prominently, and Virginia oolf's extended essay A…… [Read More]