Analysis Of Virginia Woolf 's Mrs. Dalloway Essay

1208 Words Nov 21st, 2014 5 Pages
“Time is of the essence” is something that I’ve often heard, but never really gave much thought to until I read Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway. Virginia Woolf is an amazing writer, but even more so with her use and manipulation of time in her novel Mrs. Dalloway. Spanning over the events and characters of her book in the course of one day seems like an unimaginable and daunting feat to accomplish, yet Woolf does so brilliantly and flawlessly. While addressing both the psychological concept of time and clock time as well, Dalloway brings the bustling postwar city of London to light while both literally and figuratively bringing the topic of time to the forefront of each character, with the idea of time haunting each character along the way.
The very first mention that we see of external time in Mrs. Dalloway is when Clarissa first sets out to purchase flowers for her party, “There! Out it boomed. First a warning, musical; then the hour, irrevocable. The leaden circles dissolved in the air.” Big Ben does an awful lot of interrupting during the novel, sending a warning that time is running out and reminding our character that time is moving on – with or without you. This line is also repeated several times throughout the novel with each moment Big Ben passes the hours, serving as a warning to Clarissa and the other characters that time and each hour that passes is ‘irrevocable’ and will be gone like it has ‘dissolved into thin air’ or are now memories. The continual…

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