Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway (Cliffs Notes) by Gary K Carey

By Gary K Carey

A possible regimen day is taken aside second via second and concept by way of suggestion, revealing a power on Ms. Woolf by means of Freud and James Joyce. As a society lady makes her method via her day, occasions, humans, and stories interfere, and the net of existence that holds this one girl finds the depths of life.

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Extra info for Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway (Cliffs Notes)

Example text

At her parties people gather and talk and this satisfies Clarissa. For herself, she has created a life-situation. Can we condemn her for her definition of life? For she is not just a cold, cocktail party hostess; we know that. We have seen that she is responsive to the poetic and to the imaginary; her impressions of atmosphere, people and time are most sensitive. But we must also realize too that parties are arranged situations. There is little that is natural or spontaneous about them until cocktails have warmed the cold contact between the guests.

She is able to show a composed facade. But discipline has accomplished this show of strength. In truth, both Peter and Clarissa are dreadfully lonely people, entering old age, and approaching death. Clarissa has already felt the beginning of the end of her mortality but her attitude is the antithesis of Peter’s reaction. Death, Clarissa tells herself, will be a time of “Fear no more,” a quiet, untroubled rest. She is attempting to reckon with death rationally, as she rationally reckoned with love—and chose Richard Dalloway.

And Peter, by the same token, is sure that Clarissa disapproves of his never having gotten rich or obtaining a really fine position. Yet both are still fascinated with Clarissa—and she is still fascinated by each of them. Why? Perhaps for that answer we must return to our original question: Who is Mrs. Dalloway? We realize the futility of answering such a question. It is a question that Virginia Woolf tried not to answer with a portrait, but with a novel-as-sketch. Human beings, she knew, are mixtures.

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