Mrs Dalloway: A Timeless Classic of Modernist Literature

RediksiaTuesday, 23 January 2024 | 05:20 GMT+0000
Mrs Dalloway: A Timeless Classic of Modernist Literature
Mrs Dalloway: A Timeless Classic of Modernist Literature

DIKSIA.COM - is a novel by , published in 1925, that examines one day in the life of Clarissa Dalloway, an upper-class woman in post-World War I London. The novel is considered one of Woolf's best-known works and a masterpiece of modernist literature.

It employs the technique of , shifting the focus of the narration among different characters and their inner thoughts. The novel also explores the themes of time, memory, identity, and mortality, as well as the social and psychological effects of the war.

Plot Summary

The novel begins with Clarissa Dalloway preparing to host a party in the evening. She goes out to buy flowers and reflects on her past, especially her choice of marrying the reliable but dull Richard Dalloway instead of the passionate and adventurous Peter Walsh, who visits her unexpectedly that morning. She also remembers her friendship with Sally Seton, a rebellious and feminist woman with whom she had a kiss in her youth.

Meanwhile, Septimus Warren Smith, a war veteran suffering from shell shock, wanders around the city with his wife Lucrezia. He is haunted by hallucinations of his friend Evans, who died in the war, and by the sense of meaninglessness of his life. He is seen by two doctors, Holmes and Bradshaw, who prescribe him rest and confinement in a mental institution. Unable to bear the loss of his freedom and dignity, Septimus commits suicide by jumping out of a window.

The novel ends with Clarissa's party, which is attended by many of her friends and acquaintances, including Peter Walsh and Sally Seton. Clarissa learns about Septimus' death from her husband, who was informed by Bradshaw. She feels a connection with the stranger, who she thinks has preserved his integrity by choosing to die. She also reconciles with her past and accepts her present, finding a moment of happiness and peace.

Themes and Analysis

One of the main themes of the novel is the contrast between the external and the internal, the public and the private, the superficial and the profound. The characters are constantly aware of the social expectations and conventions that govern their lives, but they also have their own individual thoughts and feelings that often contradict or conflict with the outward appearance.