Analysis Of The Novel ' Mrs. Richard Dalloway '

1446 WordsMay 5, 20166 Pages
By the end of the novel, it is evident that Woolf uses the Septimus subplot in order to establish Clarissa and Septimus’ unified vision of an oppressive society, despite their opposing backgrounds and mental conditions. Clarissa, on one hand, chose the safe route. She married a well-off politician, and lives a materially satisfying lifestyle. However, she constantly questions her life choices and is plagued by self-doubt. She seems to have lost her sense of self, seeing herself simply as “Mrs. Richard Dalloway” (10). Her lifestyle causes her to become concerned with her image in society, and she becomes burdened by her constant worry about living up to her role as a politician’s wife. Septimus, on the other hand, risks his life to fight in the war, resulting in a bad case of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. In addition, the war hardened him in some ways. After his friend Evans’ death, Septimus becomes worries with his lack of an emotional response. He feels a certain detachment from his feelings, yet imagines Evans throughout the day, perhaps trying to evoke some sort of feeling. Septimus describes his detachment by explaining that it is as if he [has] been dead, and yet [he is still] alive” (69). While he is physically there, his realization of his emptiness causes him to often zone out and become absent to the world around him. In this way, Septimus experiences a greater degree of mental instability than Clarissa. He has seen the horrors of war, giving him the undesirable
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