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Significance of time in Mrs.Dalloway

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Ye Hee Hong

on 1 October 2012

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Transcript of Significance of time in Mrs.Dalloway

Significance of time in Mrs. Dalloway Mrs. Dalloway * Big Ben

Each character can be found the stream of time.
'Once time passed, we cannot go back.' P.4

For having lived in Westminster-how many years now? over twenty,-one feels even in the midst of the traffic, or waking at night, Clarissa was positive, a particular hush, or solemnity; an indescribable pause;
a suspense (but that might be her heart, affected, they said, by influenza) before Big Ben strikes. There! Out it boomed, First a warning, musical; then the hour, irrevocable. The leaden circles dissolved in the air.


Remember my party, remember my party, said Peter Walsh as he stepped down the street, speaking to himself rhythmically, in time with the flow of the sound, the direct downright sound of Big Ben striking the half-hour. (The leaden circles dissolved in the air) Oh these parties? he thought; Clarissa's parties. Why does she give these parties? he thought. P.42

Ah, said St Margaret's like a hostess who comes into her drawing-room on the very stroke of the hour and finds her guests there already. I am not late. No, it is precisely half-past eleven, she says. ... It is half-past eleven, she says, and the sound of St. Margaret's glides into the recesses of the heart and buries itself in ring after ring of sound, like something alive which wants to confide itself, to disperse itself, to be, with a tremor of delight, at rest-like Clarissa herself, thought Peter Walsh, coming downstairs on the stroke of the hour in White. It is Clarissa herself, he thought, with a deep emotion, and an extraordinarily clear, yet puzzling, recollection of her, as if this bell had come into the room years ago, where they sat at some moment of great intimacy, and had gone from one to the other and had left, like a bee with honey, laden with the moment.


Then, as the sound of St. Margaret's languished, he thought, she has been ill, and the sound expressed languor and suffering. It was her heart, he remembered; and the sudden loudness of the final stroke tolled for death that surprised in the midst of life, Clarissa falling where she stood, in her drawing room. No! No! he cried. She is not dead! I am not old, he cried, and marched up Whitehall, as if there rolled down to him, vigorous, unending, his future. The meaning of time with figures P.33~34

Quiet descended on her, calm, content, as her needle, drawing the silk smoothly to its gentle pause, collected the green folds together and attached them, very lightly, to the belt. So on a summer's day waves collect, overbalance, and fall; collect and fail; and the whole world seems to be saying 'that is all' more and more ponderously, until even the heart in the body which lies in the sun on the beach says too, that is all. Fear on more, says the heart. Fear no more, says the heart, committing its burden to some sea, which sighs collectively for all sorrows, and renews, begins, collects, lets fall. And the body alone listens to the passing bee; the wave breaking, the dog barking, far away barking and barking. P.36

'Do you remember the lake?' she said, in an abrupt voice, under the pressure of an emotion which caught her heart, made the muscles of her throat stiff, and contracted her lips in a spasm as she said 'lake'. For she was a child throwing bread to the ducks, between her parents, and at the same time a grown woman coming to her parents who stood by the lake, holding her life in her arms which, as she neared them, grew larger and larger in her arms, until it became a whole life, a complete life, which she put down by them and said, 'This is what I have made of it! This!' What, indeed? Sitting there sewing this morning with Peter. P.32

Her evening dresses hung in the cupboard. Clarissa, plunging her hand into the softness, gently detached the green dress and carried it to the window. She had torn it. Some one had trod on the skirt. She had felt it give at the Embassy party at the top among the folds. By artificial light the green but lost it tonight. She would take her silks, her scissors, her-what was it?-her thimble, of course, down into the drawing room, for she must also write, and see that things generally were more or less in order. ...
;the chink of silver on a tray; clean silver for the party. All was for the party. P.35

'Richard's very well. Richard's at a committee,' said Clarissa.
And she opened her scissors, and said, did he mind her just finishing what she was doing to her dress, for they had a party that night?
'Which I shan't ask you to,' she said.
'My dear Peter!' she said. P.40~41

Now it was time to move, and, as a woman gathers her things together, her cloak, her gloves, her opera-glasses, and gets to go out of the theatre into street, she rupose from the sofa and went to Peter...
The door opened.
'Here is my Elizabeth,' said Clarissa, emotionally, historically, perhaps. * Mrs.Dalloway & Clarissa Content - External time and Internal time - The meaning of time with figures - Symbol of time External time and Internal time * External time
One day in June, 1923 after WWI

* Internal time
We can know the inner world of characters
using a stream of consciousness.
(The time linking with the consciousness of characters directly)

* What is 'the stream of consciousness'? Symbol of time Symbol of time *St.Margaret * Mrs.Dalloway & Clarissa The meaning of time with figures The meaning of time with figures * Septimus P.21

'What are you saying?' said Rezia suddenly, sitting down by him.
Interrupted again! She was always interrupting.


She frowned; she stamped her foot. She must go back again to
Septimus since it was almost time for them to be going to Sir William Bradshaw. She must go back and tell him, go back to him sitting there on the green chair under the tree, talking to himself, or to that dead man Evans, whom she had only seen once for a moment in the shop. He had seemed a nice quiet man; a great friend of Septimus's, and he had been killed in the War.


'It is time,' said Rezia.
The word 'time' split its husk; poured its riches over him; and from his lips fell like shells, like shavings from a plane, without his making them, hard, white, imperishable, words, and flew to attach themselves to their places in an ode to Time; an immortal ode to Time. He sang. P. 60

The millions lamented; for ages they had sorrowed. He would turn round, he would tell in a few moments, only a few moments more, of this relief, of this joy, of this astonishing revelation-'The time, Septimus,' Rezia repeated. 'What is the time?'
'I will tell you the time,' said Septimus, very slowly, very drowsily, smiling mysteriously at the dead man in the gray suit. As he sat smiling, the quarter struck-the quarter to twelve. P.28~30

But this of love (she thought, putting her coat away), this falling in love with women. Take Sally Seton; her relation in the old days with Sally Seton. Had not that, after all, been love? ... The strange thing, on looking back, was the purity, the integrity, of her feeling for Sally. It was not like one's feeling for a man. It was completely disinterested, and besides, it had a quality which could only exist between women, between just grown up. It was protective, on her side; sprang form a sense of being in league together, a presentiment of something that was bound to part them (they spoke of marriage always as a catastrophe), which led to this chivalry, this protective feeling which was much more on her side than Sally's. ... All this was only a background for Sally. She stood by the fireplace talking, in that beautiful voice which made everything she said sound like a caress, to Papa, who had begun to be attracted rather against his will(he never got over lending her one of his books and finding it soaked on the terrace)...
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