Mrs. Dalloway By Virginia Woolf

1443 Words6 Pages
Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf examines the lives of a group of socialites in post World War I England. Clarissa Dalloway spent her life suffering from anxiety but was devoted to hiding it from the world. Septimus struggled with shell shock, or post-traumatic stress disorder, that no one could help him with. These people were not only characters in Virginia Woolf’s story, but also a representation of what had been going on in Woolf’s life. She used her own struggle with mental illness as inspiration in the story. Virginia Woolf’s struggle with bipolar disorder is clearly reflected in the personalities of Clarissa and Septimus.
Virginia Woolf was born in London in 1882 to a family plagued by mental illness. Growing up, she watched several family members suffer from various psychological diseases. At an early age, Woolf was diagnosed with manic-depressive psychosis, or what is referred to today as bipolar disorder. Her psychological problems worsened after being sexually abused by her half brother as a child. The abuse wrecked her emotionally and made it difficult for her to cope with even daily life. Consequently, at the age of 12, following her mother’s death, Woolf began having mental breakdowns. When her father died seven years later, she became so depressed that she attempted to commit suicide. In an effort to cope with the tragedies that plagued her life, Woolf turned to her writing (Kenney).
In 1924 Virginia Woolf and her husband, Leonard, who she married in 1912,

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