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Mrs. Dalloway By William Woolf

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In Virginia Woolf’s novel Mrs. Dalloway, Peter Walsh serves as the focalizer for a good portion of the novel. It is through his eyes that we see Woolf’s critiques of the British middle class notions of propriety, success, and proper gender roles. Peter Walsh’s thoughts and observations of Clarissa Dalloway, Sally Seton and Richard Dalloway are all used to justify Woolf’s critics on societies pressures that cause people to become dependent on others to validate their place in society, lose who they are and what they stand for in order to fit societies idea of women, as well as question their masculinity because societal pressures force the association of success with characteristics of masculinity. It is Peter’s 5- year stay in India that…show more content…
Peter talks of a radical Clarissa Dalloway who existed before his departure for India who would not care if people saw her as a member of upper class society. Choosing to have Peter notice such a minor detail about Mrs. Dalloway is one attempt of Woolf to criticize this idea of one becoming dependent on other peoples perspective of them in British society. Although Peter picks up on Clarissa’s attempt to get him to believe she is now this women of upper class British society, he picks up on her change in speech pattern and word choice which all point at this critique that she puts the desire for Peter and others to believe she was truly a member of the upper class society over her own true independency and beliefs.
Woolf’s critiques on the societal pressures that force women to conform to societies ideal gender role of women are another thing she uses Peter Walsh to expose. Peter’s critical ways with Clarissa Dalloway causes him to expose her conformity to societies idea of a woman. Calling her the “perfect hostess”, Peter is calling out Clarissa’s new role as just someone who throws parties hinting at the idea that she has no other purpose to society other than to be the wife of Richard Dalloway (Woolf 7). While present at Clarissa’s party Peter realizes that “these parties were all for [Richard Dalloway]” and she has become
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