Mrs. Dalloway Novel by Virginia Woolf

Mrs. Dalloway Novel by Virginia Woolf

            Mrs. Dalloway is a book authored by Virginia Woolf, and it was published on the fourteenth day of May in nineteen twenty-four. It shows the details about one day in the life of Clarissa Dalloway. This story is set on a fictional woman during the post World War I in England. The book has been ranked as one of the best novels wrote by Woolf. This novel is in the form of short stories namely “Mrs. Dalloway in Bond Street” and “The Prime Minister” which is unfinished. The novel handles the preparation that Clarissa had for the party she was to host that evening. To create a clear image of Clarissa’s life plus those of the inter-war social structure, the story travels forward and backward in time and being in and out of the minds of characters. The novel, unlike other novels, has no chapter breaks a style that makes it very challenging. Therefore the book is divided into parts. Part one of this book, Miss Pym is heard saying “Dear, those motor cars” as she moves towards the window and showing gestures as if the fate of the motorcars’ tires were her fault. The book has up to eighteen parts which have the sentence, “But the Lady Bradshaw anticipated her.”

The real events of this story are secondary to what people take their time pondering memories, regrets, and hopes. This novel is set from the viewpoint of an omniscient and invisible narrator. A lot of characters in this story are financially stable and like having a considerable leisure time. Despite their interest in leisure, the characters are sometimes busy with the business of staying alive which entails asking questions about their external and internal worlds. The questions that the characters were asking are questions they were not happy about, and in the end, it is realized that most of the characters in this novel were unhappy. The characters in this book are Sir William Bradshaw who is a famous psychiatrist, another Clarissa Dalloway, a fifty-year-old protagonist in the novel. She is the wife of Richard and the mother to Elizabeth and the organizer of the party. Other characters include Richard Dalloway, Miss Kilman, Sally Seton, Lucrezia Smith, Septimus Smith, Peter Walsh, and Hugh Whitbread.

The actions of this novel are very simple; it starts from where Clarissa decides to hold a party. In the party, she notices the presence of Peter Walsh who came for a visit after returning from India.  The meeting triggers the old memories of Clarissa’s past life and the choices that she made. On the other side, the husband also holds a meeting and lunches and their daughter Elizabeth also does the same. Another person Septimus Smith and his family are also having a bad day. Septimus is lost in the memories of war and about his friend Evans who perished in the war. The memories make him think that he is being haunted and this forces the wife to take him to doctors to cure him. At the end of the day, Septimus situation worsens, and this makes him feel like there is no alternative and ends up killing himself. On the other hand, the party that Clarissa held succeeds with the arrival of the Prime Minister, and in the middle of the party, she hears the sad news of Septimus suicide which moves her to the core despite the fact that they had never met. The themes in this book include time and secular living, mental illness, existential issues, feminism, and bisexuality.