Mrs. Dalloway, by Virginia Woolf

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In the novel Mrs. Dalloway, by Virginia Woolf, the author uses narrative techniques of stream of consciousness and interior monologue in order to depict the workings of an “ordinary” or normal mind in narrative form. She also rejects the conventional structure of ‘chapters’ in order to give an “ordinary” portrayal of the mind. This essay will firstly contextualise the extract for analysis, namely the opening scene in the novel. This will be followed by defining the narrative techniques that is depicted in the extract, focusing on stream of consciousness and interior monologue. The narrative techniques will then be used to explore the ways that Woolf depicts the workings of an “ordinary” mind in the extract. Lastly the reasons for Woolf’s interest on the “ordinary” mind in the context of modernism will be explored.
Firstly the extract will be introduced and contextualised as a basis for the analysis. The novel, Mrs Dalloway takes place within one day, focusing on the inner thoughts of the characters and not on conventions pertaining to tragedy or love interest. On Wednesday morning at approximately 9:30, Clarissa Dalloway, a fifty-two year old upper class woman, is on her way to buy flowers for her society party that will be taking place that evening. As she exits her home, she is reminded of a series of events that transpired in earlier years due to the sound of the hinges, when opening the door. She recalls the time when she was eighteen years old and living in Bourton

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