If you’re looking for a classic romance novel, Mrs. Dalloway is one of the best options available. A stunning Vanessa Redgrave stars in this film adaptation of Virginia Woolf’s novel. In the role of Clarissa Dalloway, Redgrave delivers a performance that will move you. She plays the emotionally cold upper class woman who regrets her safe marriage to a politician over a more passionate suitor. But when an old beau shows up unexpectedly at her door, she rekindles the feelings that she felt years ago.
If you’ve ever wanted to read a novel that portrays the life of an upper-class woman during the post-First World War era, you should definitely read Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf. Set in a fictional post-World War I England, Mrs Dalloway is one of Woolf’s most recognizable novels.
The novel begins with Clarissa Dalloway running an errand to buy flowers. However, the errand causes a series of unexpected events that make each character react in different ways. After she returns home, Peter, her former lover, shows up and the two spend some time discussing their feelings. However, Clarissa’s daughter interrupts them.
Septimus is another character in the novel that is interesting in this regard. His sanity is tested throughout the novel, and Clarissa is unsure if he is a genuine human being. But as Septimus proves to be a courageous, sympathetic character, she eventually comes to admire him.
Septimus Dalloway is a tragic story that focuses on the breakdown of society and the inability of one person to cope with another. Rezia is an unhappy woman, and Septimus is unable to comprehend the significance of her feelings. Septimus tries to avoid the unpleasant realities of his world, and his irrationality and lack of empathy only make his situation worse. He sinks further into an infernal abyss with every moment of his indifference.
The novel explores the tension between subjective experience and clock-like regularity. This tension is reminiscent of the Victorian attempt to make everything predictable. The novel also includes references to Sherlock Holmes, the railway timetable, and Big Ben, the clock that was first created in 1859.
Clarissa’s relationship with Richard Dalloway
One of the most intriguing relationships in Mrs. Dalloway is Clarissa’s relationship with Sally Seton. Even though their kiss is only mentioned for a brief paragraph in the novel, it has sparked many questions about Clarissa’s sexuality. Whether or not Clarissa is a lesbian or a bisexual remains a matter of interpretation, but the kiss itself serves as a symbolic gesture of affection. In reality, the two women shared only friendship with each other.
In Dalloway, Clarissa Dalloway’s interaction with the mirror serves to fragment her identity. When she looks in the mirror, she sees the delicate pink face of a woman throwing a party. As her identity becomes more fragmented, she becomes more recognizable as “herself” and the party itself.
Despite her recent illness, Clarissa is still very concerned with her appearance. Her husband, Richard, is deeply involved in his work and feels that he is disconnected from Clarissa. Despite his growing distance, Richard tries to protect his wife and daughter. In this way, they develop a strong bond.
Clarissa’s illness isn’t easily apparent. Most of the time, she is only seen in superficial situations, and suffers from minor pains and anxiety. Although she isn’t a victim of mental illness, her illness affects her in profound ways. After Septimus commits suicide, Clarissa begins to question her marriage and the choice she made.
Throughout Mrs. Dalloway, unexpected events incite different reactions in different characters. Initially, the novel begins with Clarissa running an errand. Her daughter interrupts her and they discuss their feelings.
Mrs. Dalloway explores fragmented time in an attempt to understand the political climate of Britain in the 1920s. The novel features a woman from high society who seems more concerned with giving a party than with the plight of others. This disillusionment with reality is likely a coping mechanism for Clarissa, who is not particularly interested in her inner life.
In the novel, Virginia Woolf reveals the psychosis behind Clarissa Dalloway, a woman obsessed with appearance. Her appearance belies her inner, troubled life. Mrs. Dalloway’s self-consciousness is revealed through the objects she collects. Her obsession with objects also reveals their function as tools to penetrate privilege.