Feminism in 'Mrs. Dalloway'

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Feminism in Mrs. Dalloway
Virginia Woolf is one of the greatest writers whose works reflect her philosophy of life and identification of women. She grew up with an intense interest in the feminist question, and her novels hold the key to the meaning of life and the position of women in the existing patriarchal society. She portrays the impact of the patriarchal English society on women’s lives, the loneliness and frustration of women’s lives that had been shaped by the moral, ideological and conventional factors.

Mrs. Dalloway, regarded as a masterpiece of Virginia Woolf, is a novel riddled with themes. Woolf has much to say about society and the post-war changes but a steady underlying theme in the book is feminism, the roles of women of
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Both were victims of the cruelty of the social and political doctrine of the English society and their only guilt was that they were merely women. What is really tragic about Rezia is not her husband’s insanity or death but the unfriendly manner in which the world treated her. She suffered silently and alone. Even her husband Septimus for whom she left her relatives and country was indifferent to her.
“She was very lonely, she was very unhappy! She cried for the first time since they were married. Far away he heard her sobbing; he heard it accurately, he noticed it distinctively; he compared it to a piston thumping. But he felt nothing. His wife was crying, and he felt nothing.”

Miss Kilman is a psychological victim of the male dominated society. Her inability to avenge the injustice she suffered drove her to deny her femininity and adopt aggressive masculine values. She turned to be a ruthless woman and her life turned to be darkness and bitterness. She hated Clarissa because she viewed her as a product of the patriarchal society by which she was victimized.

Apart from these frustrated, lonely women characters, Woolf portrayed the character of Elizabeth Dalloway as an example of the unconventional woman. She lacked the enthusiasm in the trivial feminine society of her mother. She had ambitions to have a career and a professional life. She has planned to be doctor, farmer, or to go into parliament.

Lady Bruton is
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