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Alienation - Essay Example

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This paper analyses the book, "Mrs. Dalloway" by Virginia Woolf and discusses alienation in this context. The novel, "Mrs. Dalloway" by Virginia Woolf details the happening of a single day, Wednesday in mid-June 1923…
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Download file to see previous pages... Most significantly, the novel depicts the unexpected entrance of Peter Walsh who was an old friend and former suitor of Clarissa. Their meeting reflects a mixture of happiness and tension as Clarissa wonders why she married Richard Dalloway instead of Peter Walsh who was her suitor. The novel also revolves around the story of Septimus Warren Smith, a shell-shocked World War I veteran who suffered from the war and later committed suicide. The novel presents the topic of alienation in many dimensions. Alienation depicts a sense of emotional isolation between individuals or groups within a given community. Indeed, we can sense a feeling of emotional isolation as Peter Walsh feels desperate over his unfulfilling life. This results from the fact that his friends and former suitors have moved on with their lives. Indeed, Peter Walsh was Clarissa’s suitor but Clarissa chose to marry Richard because of his social class. This shows that Peter Walsh suffers from social alienation. As a result, Peter Walsh cries as he regrets losing Clarissa and desperately asks her if she really loves Richard. More so, Peter Walsh’s social alienation manifests where he fails to establish and maintain any stable romantic relationship (Woolf 42-44). Indeed, despite the social world requiring one to make concrete decisions, Peter alienates himself from the social world by lacking the capacity to decide what he feels. As such, he results to talking to himself, which depicts social isolation. On the other hand, we can identify social alienation from the story of Septimus Warren Smith, a shell-shocked World War I veteran. Indeed, Septimus alienated himself from the physical world by constantly residing in the internal world where he talks with his friend Evans who died in the war. He is emotionally numb and encounters deep madness and crazy hallucinations where he sees and hears unreal things that a normal person cannot witness. This is a deviation from the norms and reflects social alienation. In fact, in the social world, people communicate in the real world and not in the internal world as Septimus does. Furthermore, Septimus' presence in the novel is alienation, as he does not relate with any of the other main characters. Ultimately, Septimus suffers the consequences of alienation as he commits suicides after a light moment of joy with his wife. Indeed, Septimus decided in his internal world that he will not go with the doctors to a mental institution and opts to die (Woolf 36-42). This depicts social alienation as people do not commit suicide in the social world but wait for their natural death. More so, we experience Lucrezia’s emotional alienation, as she miserably misses Italy and is tired of taking her husband to various soulless doctors. This depicts social isolation, as the other characters are seemingly comfortable in this place. More so, the novel depicts Clarissa’s alienation from the social world. Indeed, Clarissa’s urge to pay attention to every guest alienates her from enjoying her evening party. We can see her wishing that she could get some time to talk to Sally and Peter but she is too busy with the other guests. Indeed, Clarissa sought to enjoy her evening party but the events happening during the party hinders her form such enjoyment. This is despite the fact that other people attending the party derive full enjoyment from the party. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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