Virginia Woolf 's Mrs. Dalloway

1234 Words5 Pages
Virginia Woolf’s renowned novel, Mrs. Dalloway, published in 1925, is a major literary achievement because of the narrative style in which Woolf rejects the traditional structures of Victorian fiction for the more progressive Modernist era. The entire novel spans one day in a post-First World War England. In Mrs. Dalloway, the reality of the novel is constructed through the minds of the characters rather than the conventional patriarchal “I.” Woolf replaces the single master perspective with an inclusive voice that frequently steps aside to allow multiple character voices through. The narrating voice reports the speech or thought of a character while moving inside of that character’s consciousness to take on his/her unique tone. Woolf’s narrative mode in Mrs. Dalloway provides the reader with a holistic view of consciousness at an individual, societal, and even universal level to portray the complexity of human nature. Woolf’s use of free indirect discourse contributes to the novel’s capacity to effectively capture the zeitgeist of the era, reflecting and connecting the consciousness of the age.
The novel’s inclusive narrative mode allows the reader to understand an individual character’s complexity through different perspectives. The narrative voice fluidly moves from character to character throughout the novel. The reader is slow to form a judgment on any character because what is told is not an objective truth but rather a subjective impression told by a fellow
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