The Social System Through The Eyes Of Virginia Woolf

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The Social System through the Eyes of Virginia Woolf Post World War I London society was characterized by a flow of new luxuries available to the wealthy and unemployment throughout the lower classes. Fascinated by the rapidly growing hierarchal social class system, Virginia Woolf, a young writer living in London at the time, sought to criticize it and reveal the corruption which lay beneath its surface. Mrs. Dalloway, Woolf’s fourth novel, was born in 1925 out of this desire precisely. A recurring focus in many of Woolf’s major novels is the individual and his or her conscious perceptions of daily life. Throughout Mrs. Dalloway, Woolf uses this technique, known as a “stream-of-consciousness,” to trace the thoughts of Clarissa Dalloway and Septimus Warren Smith during one day in London five years after the Great War. It is exactly this narrative technique which allows Woolf to compare the lives of these two characters which belong to different social classes to argue that social placement has a negative effect on one’s life and psychological being. In many of her novels and especially in Mrs. Dalloway, Virginia Woolf tends to stray from directly attacking an issue such as social unjust by using symbolism. She often “detested what she called ‘preaching’ in fiction” and instead, strategically “scatters fragments of images for the readers to gather up and to piece together as to form [their] own, maybe individual, understanding of the character” in her stream-of-consciousness
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