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Mrs Dalloway

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Karla Passos

on 31 October 2013

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Transcript of Mrs Dalloway

CAMARGO, Mônica Hermini de. Versões do feminino: Virginia Woolf e a estética feminina. Dissertação de mestrado. São Paulo, 2009. Available in: http://www.teses.usp.br/teses/disponiveis/8/8147/tde-03072002-231829/en.php

CARTER, Ronald & McRAE, John. The Routledge History of Literature in English: Britain and Ireland. Second edition. USA and Canada. Routledge. 2001.

HOFF, Molly. Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway: Invisible Presences. South Carolina. Clemson University Digital Press, 2009.

SMITH, Susan Bennett. Reinventing Grief Work: Virginia Woolf's Feminist Representations of Mourning in Mrs. Dalloway and To the Lighthouse. In: Twentieth Century Literature. Vol. 41, No. 4 (Winter, 1995), pp. 310-327. Published by: Hofstra University
Article Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/441533

ZUERDLING, Alex. Mrs. Dalloway and the social system. Available in: http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/461415?uid=3737664&uid=2134&uid=2&uid=70&uid=4&sid=21102847741407

WOOLF, Virginia. Mrs. Dalloway (1925). A Project Gutenberg of Australia eBook No: 0200991h.html. Access 31 August: available in: http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks02/0200991h.html
Versões do feminino: Virginia Woolf e a estética feminista.
Mrs Dalloway
“Mrs Dalloway describes the events of one single Day in central London through the mind of one character, Clarissa Dalloway, who is to be the hostess of a party for high-society friends later the same evening. It is a finely shaded portrait of an individual personality. The novel contains many flashbacks to Clarissa Dalloway’s past experience as she seeks to bring together past memory and present action”.

(pages 386, 387 The Routledge History of Literature in English)
Main Characters
Social Aspects
- To marry or not to marry?
- War effects
-Internal and external life
Communication VS Privacy
Existential Aspects
Feelings about
- Soul
"Bearing his flowers like a weapon, Richard Dalloway approached her;
intent he passed her; still there was time for a spark between them-
-she laughed at the sight of him, he smiled good-humouredly, considering
the problem of the female vagrant; not that they would ever speak.
But he would tell Clarissa that he loved her, in so many words. He had,
once upon a time, been jealous of Peter Walsh; jealous of him and Clarissa.
But she had often said to him that she had been right not to marry Peter Walsh;
which, knowing Clarissa, was obviously true; she wanted support."
Not that she was weak; but she wanted support.
-Septimus Warren Smith
Physical representation of the post-war society.


-Clarissa’s thoughts vs Septimus’ thoughts.
- accommodation vs cowardice.
Society vs Reality about Septimus
- What about the real world?
Clarissa as a member of the upper class
Thoughts of mortality
Moment of epiphany
Clarissa´s theory
-Novel – published in 1925



-Disillusioned society
- Festive High Class

People must notice; people must see.
People, she thought, looking at the crowd staring at the motor car; the English people, with their children and their horses and their clothes, which she admired in a way; but they were "people" now, because Septimus had said, "I will kill myself"; an awful thing to say. (PAG 18)

"Clarissa had a theory in those days . . . that since our apparitions, the part of us which appears, are so momentary compared with the other, the unseen part of us, which spreads wide, the unseen might survive, be recovered somehow attached to this person or that, or even haunting certain places after death . . . perhaps—perhaps
Busyness of public life vs quiet privacy of the soul
"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."

-Clarissa's Close friend
-Rejected by her
- Out of London for five years
-Romantic problems
-A close friend of Clarissa and Peter in their you
- Wild spirit
-Probable the only one Clarissa really loved
-Now, married with a rich man
Richard Dalloway
Sally Seton
Peter Walsh
Septimus Warren Smith
Clarissa Dalloway
-Great joy and great dread about her life
-Privacy and communicate

-A World War I veteran
-Shell shock
-Not able to Feel?

Doris Kilman
- Religious woman
- Love Elizabeth
-Hate Clarissa
Elizabeth Dalloway
-Clarissa and Richard's Daughter
-Pray with her story teacher and have a stranger relationship with her
-Want to work

- Clarissa’s husband
- Member of Parliament
-Appreciates tradition
Virginia Woolf
Born on January 25th, 1882.

Novelist, critic and essayist.

Upper-middle-class family in Victorian London.
“A woman must have money and a room
of her own if she is to write fiction” in A Room of One’s Own, 1929)

1895 – Death of her mother.

Firsts signs of mental illness.

1897 – Death of her half- sister, Stella.

1904 – Death of her father
- Firsts publications – essays.
“His life would have ended mine (…)
What would have happened? No writing,
No books – inconceivable” (In A Writer’s Diary)
1912- Marry Leonard Woolf – Bloomsbury – Hogarth Press (1917).

1941 – committed suicide – during World War II.

“Of course, then, Elizabeth would wait.
But it was rather stuffy In here.”

Mrs Dalloway
The Hours
-The hours (2002)- based on the novel of Michael Cunningham

The hours - original title of Mrs Dalloway

Virginia Woolf herself 1923
Mrs Brown - 1949
Clarissa Vaughan 2001 - Modern Mrs Dalloway

Mrs Dalloway (1997)
Faithful to the novel

"They said the book was the result a deliberate method. Said the author, dissatisfied with the shape of fiction in vogue in time, decided to beg, borrow, steal or even create another shape
"They said the book was the result of a deliberate method.
Said the author, dissatisfied with the shape of fiction
in vogue in time, decided to beg, borrow, steal or even
create another shape (...)
Evidently, the address was the novel,
but it seemed built on the wrong project.(...)
Needless to say, the other way -
to build a home and
then live in it, develop a theory and
then apply it, as did Wordsworth and Coleridge
- is equally good and more philosophical.
But in this case, it was necessary before
write the book and then invent a theory. (...)
The expected is that the reader
does not devote any thought to
the method or lack of method book. to
concerns it is only the effect of the
book as a whole in his mind. (...)
London, June 1928".
Subjective experiences of the characters in post World War I England.

Several central characters and many minor characters.


“Mrs Dalloway is always giving parties to cover the silence”

"She was really spiteful, for some reason; had some grudge against him. Something had happened--he forgot what--in the smoking-room. He had insulted her--kissed her? Incredible! Nobody believed a word against Hugh of course. Who could? Kissing Sally in the smoking-ro."
"Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself."
"Here she is mending her dress;
mending her dress as usual, he thought;
here she's been sitting all the time I've been in India;
mending her dress; playing about; going to parties;
unning to the House and back and all that, he thought,
growing more and more irritated, more and more agitated, f
or there's nothing in the world so bad for some women as marriage,
he thought; and politics; and having a Conservative husband, l
ike the admirable Richard."
"But he himself remained high on his rock,
like a drowned sailor on a rock.
I leant over the edge of the boat and fell down, he thought.
I went under the sea. I have been dead, and yet am now alive,
but let me rest still; he begged
(he was talking to himself again--it was awful, awful!);
and as, before waking, the voices of birds and the sound of wheels
chime and chatter in a queer harmony, grow louder and louder and
the sleeper feels himself drawing to the shores of life, so he felt
himself drawing towards life, the sun growing hotter, cries sounding louder,
mething tremendous about to happen."
"That was his old trick, opening a pocket-knife,
thought Sally, always opening and shutting a
knife when he got excited.
"What Sally felt was simply this.
She had owed Clarissa an enormous amount.
They had been friends, not acquaintances, friends,
and she still saw Clarissa all in white going about
the house with her hands full of flowers"
"He returned with a pillow and a quilt.

"An hour's complete rest after luncheon," he said.
And he went.

How like him!
He would go on saying "An hour's
complete rest after luncheon" to the end of time,
because a doctor had ordered it once"
"She liked people who were ill.
And every profession is open to the women
of your generation, said Miss Kilman.
So she might be a doctor. She might be a farmer.
Animals are often ill. She might own a thousand acres and
have people under her. She would go and see them in their cottages.
This was Somerset House. One might be a very good farmer--and that,
strangely enough though Miss Kilman had her share in it, was almost
entirely due to Somerset House. It looked so splendid, so serious,
that great grey building. And she liked the feeling of people working.
She liked those churches, like shapes of grey paper,
breasting the stream of the Strand. It was quite different here from
Westminster, she thought, getting off at Chancery Lane. It was so serious;
it was so busy. In short, she would like to have a profession.
She would become a doctor, a farmer, possibly go into Parliament,
if she found it necessary, all because of the Strand."
"And for a woman, of course, that meant never meeting the opposite sex.
Never would she come first with any one. Sometimes lately
it had seemed to her that, except for Elizabeth, her food was
all that she lived for; her comforts; her dinner, her tea;
her hot-water bottle at night. But one must fight; vanquish;
have faith in God. Mr. Whittaker had said she was there for a purpose.
But no one knew the agony! He said, pointing to the crucifix, that God knew.
But why should she have to suffer when other women,
like Clarissa Dalloway, escaped?"
- The importance of the book
-Efects in brazilian literature
"No, the words meant absolutely nothing to her now. She could not even get an echo of her old emotion. But she could remember going cold with excitement, and doing her hair in a kind of ecstasy (now the old feeling began to come back to her, as she took out her hairpins, laid them on the dressing-table, began to do her hair), with the rooks flaunting up and down in the pink evening light, and dressing, and going downstairs, and feeling as she crossed the hall "if it were now to die 'twere now to be most happy." That was her feeling--Othello's feeling, and she felt it, she was convinced, as strongly as Shakespeare meant Othello to feel it, all because she was coming down to dinner in a white frock to meet Sally Seton! "(PAG 39) "

“But what was she dreaming as she looked into Hatchards' shop window? What was she trying to recover? What image of white dawn in the country, as she read in the book spread open: Fear no more the heat o' the sun
Nor the furious winter's rages.This late age of the world's experience had bred in them all, all men and women, a well of tears. Tears and sorrows; courage and endurance; a perfectly upright and stoical bearing.” (PAG 12)
Look the unseen bade him, the voice which now communicated with him who was the greatest of mankind, Septimus, lately taken from life to death, the Lord who had come to renew society, who lay like a coverlet, a snow blanket smitten only by the sun, for ever unwasted, suffering for ever, the scapegoat, the eternal sufferer, but he did not want it, he moaned, putting from him with a wave of his hand that eternal suffering, that eternal loneliness.
“Horror! horror! she wanted to cry. (She had left her people; they had warned her what would happen.)”
(PAG 31 )
omnibuses bright yellow,seemed to Septimus Warren Smith lying on the sofa in the sitting-room..” (PAG 153)
the wall grey, now the bananas bright yellow, now made the Strand grey, now made the
Going and coming, beckoning, signalling, so the light and shadow which now made
“Calmly and competently, Elizabeth Dalloway mounted the Westminster omnibus.
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