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Virginnia Woolf's 'Mrs Dalloway'
Pages 6 (1506 words)
I meant to write about death, only life came breaking in as usual," Virginia Woolf wrote in her diary [DII, 17 February 1922; p. 167] as she was writing a series of short stories on post-World War I London, which eventually expanded to become one of her greatest novels - Mrs…
[Lee, 1996; p 36]
Mrs. Dalloway, Virginia Woolf's fourth novel, is perhaps her first novel to reveal her mastery of the craft of novel writing. Set on a single day, the novel interweaves several narrative perspectives, organised in two parallel stories: Clarissa Dalloway's party and the suicide of her symbolic double, Septimus Warren Smith. Transiting back and forth in time and space, from interior to exterior of her central character, Mrs. Clarissa Dalloway and her double, Woolf looks at love, dreams, longings, failings, illusions, fears and frustrations in post- war London. In so doing Virginia Woolf responded to the prevailing traditions of novel writing with a 'consciously' modern novel. Discarding the usual style of time-bound story telling for a picturesque revelation of the inner thoughts and the outward expressions of her characters, Mrs Dalloway fulfils Woolf's demand of a novel as suggested in her essay 'Modern Fiction,' "Look within andexaminean ordinary mind on an ordinary day to reveal the flickerings of that innermost flame which flashes its messages through the brain." [Woolf, 1919; p. 106]
Mrs. Dalloway begins when Mrs. ...
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