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Clarissa vs Mrs. Dalloway: the Private and the Public Self of the Perfect Hostess - Essay Example

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Dalloway Virginia Woolf born in London, and permanently settled in Bloomsbury, had distinct views on art, especially on the craft of fiction .Her novels are psychological in their approach, employing a narrative technique called stream of Consciousness ‘method”…
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Clarissa vs Mrs. Dalloway: the Private and the Public Self of the Perfect Hostess
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Download file to see previous pages We see her not only as she is Mrs. Dalloway today but as Miss Clarissa thirty years ago. As Mrs. Dalloway walks or shops or talks or dresses or dines, we are inside her mind, seeing as she sees herself and knowing the past as she knows. We also see Clarissa through her own stream of Consciousness as well as that of others, Peter Walsh, Sally Seston and Richard Dalloway. The events of the novel are confined to the duration of a day in London, beginning with Clarissa Dalloway going out in the morning to buy some flowers for her party in the evening. This restricted frame work might lead us to the inference that the novel is slender but it is not the case however. The novel is composed of the recollections of the main characters ranging far back in time. Clarissa goes out to buy some flowers for her party. The fresh morning reminds her of her similar mornings in the past and her association with her former lover, Peter Walsh. Reminiscing over the past, she enters Regan’s Park and meets Hugh Whitbread an old friend. Inevitably she draws a comparison between Whitbread and Peter. When she thinks of Peter Walsh, scene after scene from her early married life comes to her mind. She remembers how she loved Peter Walsh but accepted Richard Dalloway by rejecting Peter Walsh. In the midst a glove shop on the way triggers her memory of her daughter, Elizabeth, and her likes and dislikes. Back at home, after buying flowers, she learns from her maid that Richard Dalloway will dine with lady Bruton in the evening, her mind travels back towards Peter. Had she married him, all the joys would have been hers. He would not have left her to dine with Lady Bruton. She is now Clarissa who loved Peter Walsh. Clarissa’s love for Peter is irrepressible. But She wanted to be left alone. But Peter always kept inquiring into her goings on. She felt that Peter was too demanding and wanted her to share every one of her feelings with him. Richard Dalloway the states man was not so demanding and so she married Richard which was a surprise to Peter. Clarrisa reflects on certain events in the past. After the marriage with Richard only she realized to her great horror that she was incapable of warmth towards him. Her relationships with Richard are dry and love less even though he is very kind to her. It came to her mind, the first introduction of Dalloway to her shyly and awkwardly “My name is Dalloway”. Clarissa’s friends Sally joking about it and so on. The then Clarissa is different from the present Mrs. Dalloway. Mrs. Dalloway is now thinking about Peter Walsh who is now a colonial officer in India. Her love and regard for Peter still fume and simmer in the depth of her heart. She feels that she is responsible for the wastage of Peters’ life. Peter return to London in order to consult a lawyer on how to obtain a divorce for his fiancee. But his real motive is to renew and resuscitate his relations with Clarissa. But both are inhibited. Neither has the courage to articulate their inner longings. He barges into her house without any previous information, and is surprised to see her unchanged, wearing a torn dress and busy making arrangements for parties. As for Peter he also does not seem to have undergone any change, fidgeting with his pocket knife and leaving of sentences unfinished. Clarissa sits by his side on the sofa. Unable to control himself he kisses her on her hands impulsively. (Now also he does not have the courage to kiss her on her ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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