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Mrs Dalloway - Essay Example

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This is the historical setting of Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway. Clarissa Dalloway is throwing a party, and the day reveals unmet needs and social issues that people of her class prefer to ignore. Woolf uses an…
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Mrs Dalloway
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Mrs Dalloway

Download file to see previous pages... Mrs. Dalloway asks readers to read between the lines and to analyze the meanings of words, images, and memories to the characters and their society. Mrs. Dalloway represents despair because of repression and isolation that social class, faith, and science cannot remove, although the novel suggests that through love and career, some people can have enough hope to find meaning in their lives.
Mrs. Dalloway feels despair because of her repressed life that the traditional social order imposes on her. Conventional society has gender and social status norms and all of these repress Mrs. Dalloway. Even before she got married, Clarissa feels something missing in her life, which she remembers when she goes to shop for flowers for her party: “She had a perpetual sense, as she watched the taxi cabs, of being out, out, far out to sea and alone; she always had the feeling that it was very, very dangerous to live even one day” (Woolf Section 1). She feels it dangerous to live probably because she cannot live the life she wants because society will reject her. One of the hidden lives that Clarissa has is being a lesbian. She does not want to fully admit it to herself, but her relationship with Sally Seton has a romantic side. When Sally kissed her before, Clarissa felt something new, something better in her life: “…the radiance burnt through, the revelation, the religious feeling!” (Woolf Section 2). The revelation is her attraction for the same sex, while the religious feeling is finding purity in truth. Clarissa knows, however, that her society despises gay people, so she decides to stick to gender norms and to marry Richard Dalloway instead. He presents socio-economic comforts, which Clarissa justifies she needs better than her suitor’s, Peter Walsh’s promise of an adventurous life in traveling. Furthermore, the title itself reveals how oppressed Clarissa is as a woman. Mrs. Dalloway means that she has no ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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