“Mrs. Dalloway” is considered one of the best novels by “Virginia Woolf” who was one of the most important novelists of the 20th century. She was also a prolific writer of essays, diaries, letters, and biographies. She wrote many literary works in her literary career. Among them “Mrs. Dalloway”, To the Lighthouse” and “Orlando”, A Room of one’s own” are world famous. Her works have been translated into more than 50 languages. Virginia Woolf’s “Mrs. Dalloway” is the perfect example of a literary them ‘Stream of Consciousness’ style because it doesn’t have a specific theme, but it’s rather following the thought of the main character.
Mrs. Dalloway Characters
‘Mrs. Dalloway’ was published in 1925. It is the story of Mrs. Dalloway, which takes place in London one day or night, in June of 1923. Clarissa Dalloway is an upper-class housewife married to Richard, a politician. Clarissa is throwing a party that night. She went to buy flowers for the party. When she returns home, she meets with “Peter Walsh” a very old friend. Peter and Clarissa have always been very close, both of them share a lot of old memories with each other. Peter leaves when Clarissa’s daughter Elizabeth enters. He walks to Regent’s park thinking about Clarissa’s refusal of his marriage offer.
On the other hand, Septimius Warren Smith’ a veteran of world war 1, who is suffering from psychological disturbance also waits in Regent’s park along with his Italian wife Lucrezia. Septimus imagines that he is a kind of prophet and has hallucinations of his dead soldier friend Evans. He was once an aspiring poet, but after the war, he become numb and unable to feel. Lucrezia has been taking Septimus to Dr. Holmes, who is convinced that Septimus has nothing wrong with him and is “in a funk”. That afternoon the Smiths visit Sir Willam Bradshaw, a famous doctor for the psychological bully patient. Sir William plans to send Septimus to a mental institution.
Richard Dalloway has lunch with Lady Bruton and Hugh. After lunch, Richard gets roses for Clarissa and plans to tell her, he loves her, but when he sees her, he cannot say it. Clarissa considers the soul’s privacy between even a husband and wife. Richard leaves and Elizabeth emerges with Doris Kilman, her history tutor. Clarissa and Miss Kilman hate each other and are jealous of the other’s influence on Elizabeth.
Septimus and Lucrezia share a moment of happiness. Then Dr. Holmes arrives to visit Septimus. Septimus thinks of Holmes as a monster condemning him to death and Septimus jumps out the window, killing himself as an act of defiance.
On the other side, Peter goes to Clarissa’s party, where most of the novel’s upper-class Characters eventually assemble. Clarissa acts as a “Perfect hostess” but is worried the party will fail. Sally Sestton, an old friend of Clarissa also arrives late, and his wife tells Clarissa about Septimus’s suicide. After hearing this news Clarissa leaves for a while Peter and Sally and waiting for Clarissa to join them Clarissa finally appears.
Thus, through this novel, Virginia Woolf portrays, the mental condition of all characters including Mrs. Dalloway, Septimus, and Peter. They are all mentally disturbed because of their past incident. This is the main characteristic of “Psychological Fiction”, which Virginia Woolf represents through the novel “Mrs. Dalloway”.