Virginia Woolf


Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway Essay, Research Paper

comparison to Clarissa Dalloway and Septimus warren smith.

These citizens grow up under the same social institutions and

although classes are drawn up on wealth; it can be conceived that

two people may have very similar opinions of the society that

created them. The English society which Virginia Woolf presents

individuals that are uncannily similar. These two individuals

carry the names of Clarissa Dalloway and Septimus Warren Smith.

Clarissa and Septimus, share the quality of communicating through

actions, not words, and perceiving death as “defiance.” Through

these basic beliefs and mannerisms, Clarissa and Septimus,

although never meeting, portray each other in their thoughts and


feels death and sorrow all around her. She consistently sees

routine and habit around her but seems

discontented Clarissa, she was

now, “…Mrs. Dalloway; not even Clarissa any

inside Mrs. Dalloway’s soul, lies her

belief character, the side that she never

reveals. Clarissa expresses

her belief in reincarnation. That her inner-communicating self,

if not revealed in this body, may be revealed in the next. The

belief that her?

that everything will work out, eventually. Mrs. Dalloway before

the party remarks that, ‘If it were now to die, ’twere now be

most happy.’”(p. 184) Clarissa portrays her sense of happiness as

something not monstrumental or grandiose, but rather quite

simple. She can be happy in

throwing a party. Clarissa has friends. Her parties are to unite the people, who would

otherwise never speak to each other. Clarissa communicates

ycan, “say things you couldn’t say anyhow else.” She can

her…” Clarissa Dalloway has a sense of optimism mixed with

despair, in this she defines her character.

sorrow in living within his society. Septimus sees beauty in

small inanimate things that surround him. Beauty can be seen as

a plane that writes in the sky,

deciphered but which signifies beauty.

Subconsciously, Septimus

reveals his need to be nurtured, “..signalling their intention to

Frankenstein, Septimus pulls away from society when he falls ill

and has trouble dealing with reality. Septimus and Clarissa in

this manner are very similar. Septimus feels frightened from

the reality around him, “He began to open his eyes, to see

whether a gramophone was really there. But real things

were too exciting. He must be cautious. He would not go

mad.”(p. 142) Clarissa pulls away from individuality when she

marries Richard and becomes ? He knew everything!”(p. 140) Septimus’ truth was that,

goodness of humanity under the cold, hard shell that society,

portrays. Septimus believes in nature, love and goodness; but

these are not the qualities of reality, they are the antithesis.

For Septimus knows of war, death and destruction; he knows that

society will not change and that he cannot live in a world that

can be so constricting. Septimus takes a leap of faith and ends

all his suffering in this unforgiving world;

individuality, Septimus and Clarissa recede into the depths of

normality. Clarissa accepts this recession, from having a dream

to being merely Mrs. Dalloway. However, Septimus does not, this

constriction and uniformity propels Septimus out of his bedroom

window. Althought they differ in their response to this

uniformity, the truth remains that they are both dissatisfied.

Their dissatisfaction emanates from society closing the doors to

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