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Classroom News » IB2 - Language A1 » Mrs. Dalloway

Mrs. Dalloway

genre · Modernist; formalist; feminist

time and place written · Woolf began Mrs. Dalloway in Sussex in 1922 and completed the novel in London in 1924.

narrator · Anonymous. The omniscient narrator is a commenting voice who knows everything about the characters. This voice appears occasionally among the subjective thoughts of characters. The critique of Sir William Bradshaw’s reverence of proportion and conversion is the narrator’s most sustained appearance.

point of view · Point of view changes constantly, often shifting from one character’s stream of consciousness (subjective interior thoughts) to another’s within a single paragraph. Woolf most often uses free indirect discourse, a literary technique that describes the interior thoughts of characters using third-person singular pronouns (he and she). This technique ensures that transitions between the thoughts of a large number of characters are subtle and smooth.

tone · The narrator is against the oppression of the human soul and for the celebration of diversity, as are the book’s major characters. Sometimes the mood is humorous, but an underlying sadness is always present.

themes · Communication vs. privacy; disillusionment with the British Empire; the fear of death; the threat of oppression

motifs · Time; Shakespeare; trees and flowers; waves and water

symbols · The prime minister; Peter Walsh’s pocketknife and other weapons; the old woman in the window; the old woman singing an ancient song


Part 1: From the opening scene, in which Clarissa sets out to buy flowers, to her return home. Early morning–11:00 a.m.

Part 2: From Clarissa’s return from the shops through Peter Walsh’s visit. 11:00 a.m.–11:30 a.m.

Part 3: From Peter leaving Clarissa’s house through his memory of being rejected by Clarissa. 11:30 a.m.–11:45 a.m.

Part 4: From little Elise Mitchell running into Rezia’s legs to the Smiths’ arrival on Harley Street. 11:45 a.m.–12:00 p.m.

Part 5: From Septimus’s appointment with Sir William Bradshaw to lunchtime at half-past one. 12:00 p.m.–1:30 p.m.

Part 6: From Hugh Whitbread examining socks and shoes in a shop window before lunching with Lady Bruton through Clarissa resting on the sofa after Richard has left for the House of Commons. 1:30 p.m.–3:00 p.m.

Part 7: From Elizabeth telling her mother she is going shopping with Miss Kilman through Elizabeth boarding an omnibus to return home to her mother’s party. 3:00 p.m.–late afternoon

Part 8: From Septimus observing dancing sunlight in his home while Rezia works on a hat through Septimus’s suicide. Late afternoon–6:00 p.m.

Part 9: From Peter Walsh hearing the sound of an ambulance siren to his opening his knife before entering Clarissa’s party. 6:00 p.m.–early night

Part 10: From servants making last- minute party preparations through the end of the party and the appearance of Clarissa. Early night–3:00 a.m.

Related Files

    ppt Mrs. Dalloway class PPT (ppt file - 149 KB)
    Mrs. Dalloway class PPT

    doc Article: On the floor of the mind... (doc file - 59 KB)
    Article: On the floor of the mind...

    pdf Turbulence in the Text: Narrative Complexity (pdf file - 3.08 MB)
    Turbulence in the Text: Narrative Complexity

    pdf Mrs. Dalloway, the Director, and the Relativity Paradox (pdf file - 2.83 MB)
    Mrs. Dalloway, the Director, and the Relativity Paradox

    pdf Modern Transportation (pdf file - 24 KB)
    An essay regarding transportation within the novel

    ppt PPT Dalloway's Walk (ppt file - 2.66 MB)
    Visual Notes on Mrs. Dalloway’s Walk through London

    pdf Time Shifts (pdf file - 658 KB)
    Time Shifts

    pdf Invisible Presences (pdf file - 1.96 MB)
    Annotations & MORE of Dalloway's novel

    pptx Politics, Warfare, and Politeness (pptx file - 85 KB)
    Politics, Warfare, and Politeness PPT

    doc Exam2 Prep Questions (doc file - 40 KB)
    Exam2 Prep Questions

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Related Links
    » Mrs. Dalloway - Free e-book

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