Septimus Mental Illness

Decent Essays
“She must go back and tell him, go back to him sitting there on the green chair under the tree, talking to himself, or to that dead man Evans, whom she had only seen once for a moment in the shop. He had seemed a nice quiet man; a great friend of Septimus’s, and he had been killed in the war. But such things happen to every one. Every one has friends who were killed in the War. Every one gives up something when they marry. She had given up her home. She had come to live here, in this awful city. But Septimus let himself think about horrible things, as she could too, if she tried.” (Virginia Woolf, 2192) The era after World War I was difficult period for the people of Europe whom were trying to find a sort of normality after facing much destruction.…show more content…
Lucrezia mentions Septimus talking to a man named Evans who, “seemed a nice quiet man; a great friend of Septimus’s, and he had been killed in the war” (Woolf 2192). Septimus, it seems, has yet to come to terms of the death of Evans by still talking to him as he was alive. Septimus suffers from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and one of the symptoms is guilt, he states how he feels guilty for not reacting to the death of his friend appropriately (Woolf 2206). After five years, the death of Evans still haunts him, with him having hallucinations of Evans wherever he goes, a constant reminder of how he was unable to save him. The loss of friends was not secluded to just the deaths of friends but also the falling out with old friends. This is best shown with Peter and Clarissa; both had not seen each other or had contact in thirty years but they had never forgotten about the other. And when they do meet again a wave of old emotions hits them both, “[Peter] perfectly enchanting! Now I remember how impossible it was ever to make up my mind - and why did I make up my mind-not to marry him? she wondered” (Woolf 2178). They are not the only friends to reconnect, Sally Seaton, whom also was friends with them, sees them for the first time in…show more content…
In the passage Lucrezia states, “Septimus let himself think about horrible things, as she could too, if she tried” (Woolf 2192). Septimus feels alone and no one can help him or understand what he is going through. Just as Clarissa Dalloway, who is rich, loved, and popular but she still feels empty inside. As shown, “Many a time had she gone, at Bourton when they were all talking, to look at the sky, or seen it between people’s shoulders at dinner; seen it in London when she could not sleep” (Woolf 2259). In this moment Clarissa has a sense of isolation, another symptom of PTSD, she isolates herself to her happy place which was her childhood home in Bourton. Clarissa and Septimus are tied together, they are each other doppelgangers, both have lived two distinct lives but both suffered a type of depression similar to the author, Virginia Woolf, whom also killed herself. Although Clarissa handled it in a much different way than Septimus, even though both had been seen by Sir William Bradshaw to be ‘cured’. For example, “quite often if Richard had not been there reading the Times, so that she could crouch like a bird and gradually revive…she must have perished. But that young man had killed himself” (Woolf 2259). Clarissa states that without Richard, her husband, she would have ended up like Septimus, they are each other’s what if.
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