Essay by sLvRk155es April 2006

download word file, 1 pages 3.0

Downloaded 14 times

Clarissa Dalloway's life in Virginia Woolf's "Mrs. Dalloway" consists of fashion and exotic parties and part of high society. However, she yearns for something more, as she seeks deeper meaning than fine fashion and parties. Clarissa is always concerned with her appearances and tries to be the good girl and a perfect hostess. She seeks privacy and she keeps herself calm and rarely shows or shares her inner emotions with anyone. Clarissa uses her manners and conversations in order to hide who she internally is and desires as she struggles to balance her internal self with the outside world.

Clarissa's character can be viewed from different angles. Her lifestyle, personality and her thoughts are not only analyzed by the readers but also by the characters within the text. She could be analyzed as lacking in warmth. During her younger days, she was passionate about changing the world and politics however she has become narrow-minded and superficial and has lost touch of reality through her dedication to social expectations.

Clarissa's life can be read as a struggle between fulfilling social expectations and realizing her passions. She married Richard Dalloway not because she loved him, but because she wanted "marry the prime minister and throw parties". Clarissa's parties, being a good wife and mother portray her deep role in society, as she fulfills these expectations.

Septimus Warren Smith, her double in Mrs. Dalloway commits suicide in order to free himself from such pressure and social expectations. Critics argue that Septimus Warren Smith is more than a close friend of Clarissa but her alternate persona. Septimus is the binary opposite of Clarissa and is everything that she is not. Septimus is a man who is darker in personality and is in touch with his internal personality as opposed to Clarissa a...