Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Mrs. Dalloway

In this novel, three stories of three different people are developed at the same time. The first one is about Clarissa Dalloway, an upper-class housewife, who is about to give a party for all her friends, something that makes her feel really anxious. When she returns from flower shopping, an old suitor and friend, Peter Walsh, drops by her house unexpectedly. Years earlier, he proposed to her but she refused, a fact he never forgot. Peter asks Clarissa if she is happy with her husband, Richard, but before she can answer, her daughter, Elizabeth, enters the room. Peter leaves and goes to Regent’s Park where he thinks about Clarissa’s refusal, which still obsesses him. After that, there is a shift in the story towards Septimus, a veteran of World War I who was injured in trench warfare and now suffers from shell shock. Septimus and his wife, Lucrezia, pass time in Regent’s Park while waiting for Septimus’s appointment with Sir William Bradshaw, a celebrated psychiatrist, who thinks Septimus is crazy and decides to send him to a mental institution. As he doesn’t want to go because he thinks the doctors would destroy his soul, he jumps from a window and dies. The third important character that appears in the novel is Clarissa’s husband, Richard. Richard Dalloway eats lunch with Hugh Whitbread and Lady Bruton, members of high society. After lunch, Richard returns home to Clarissa with a large bunch of roses. He intends to tell her that he loves her but finds that he cannot, because it has been so long since he last said it. All these three characters meet at Clarissa’s party, which turn up to be a success. Everyone is enjoying the party but Clarissa, who feels dissatisfied by her own role and acutely conscious of Peter’s critical eye. Sir William Bradshaw arrives late, and his wife explains that one of his patients, the young veteran (Septimus), has committed suicide. Clarissa retreats to the privacy of a small room to consider Septimus’s death. She identifies with Septimus, admiring him for not compromising his soul and she feels, with her comfortable position as a society hostess, responsible for his death. The party is about to end when Clarissa enters the room to say goodbye to the guests.


1 comment:

  1. Hello Sun,
    can you tell us who wrote the novel? What did you like best about it?