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Sunday, October 2, 2016

Query Solved : Summary/Synopsis of 'Mrs.Dalloway' written by Virginia Woolf

I was requested by +Iram Mirza,a M.A English student to synopsise 'Mrs.Dalloway' authored by Virginia Woolf a few weeks back (apologies that it took me so long ; had my own academic preparation to handle in this while) and the post is ready by now! If anyone would like to seek some help regarding Academics,please go to this page and let me know.I will try my best to help (and that for free!)
You can catch up with a free,accessible copy of 'Mrs.Dalloway'on Project Gutenberg here.

The novel is all about Mrs.Dalloway,an upper middle class woman who has been focused as the showstopper of the ramp in the story is what the novel is named after.A rather classic approach as this can be considered to be,the novel does deal with quite a number of unconventional contexts.We have to,however,keep in mind that the book had been published in 1925,which is almost a century ago from now and hence,is not as direct in approach as,say in Simone de Beauvoir's 'The Second Sex' (published in 1949).
Woolf being one of the earliest advocators of feminism within the world of lady literateurs,the book could have been braver but it has got a subtle tone in terms of defiance ; one that does not come up with a solution on its own,one that makes you run over the same piece of ground many,many times until you feel dizzy ; partially claustrophobic,even.It totally draws the picture of how life used to be for the upper middle class in the twentieth century England - mostly revolving around slyly hidden scars,untold anecdotes,sexual attraction,obsessive tendencies and psychological imbalance. This is the very reason why the depressive mood is intensified by the introduction of World War I veteran Septimus.
If you have gone through Charlotte Perkins Gilman's 'The Yellow Wallpaper',you would know what cynicism in classic literature might mean. 'Mrs.Dalloway',however is not something as striking,it is almost like a journey on a well built ship on the serene Pacific ocean in mid-summer with sudden flashes of thunder and an instinctive prediction of dangerous storms,which however never will shipwreck you (who are the sailors).Peter Walsh (as one Peter is mandetory in classic novels) is one of the suitors of Clarissa Dalloway,when she used to be a young woman who had been rejected by her.This bitter truth has proved to be disturbing to him until he meets Clarissa,now the middle aged mother of a young lady.
In between,the character of Septimus is a contrast in the dull,meditative scenarios so portrayed.The man is injured - far so psychologically than physically (or at least the former is what affects him far more brutally). He also suffers from shell shock and has to have an appointment with renowned psychitatrist Dr.William Bradshaw.Interestingly,as any of you would already know,Virginia Woolf suffered a lifelong depression,which ultimately led to her suicide,after a few attempts made prior to that.And as only depressive people with more than average intellect would know - psychiatrists are captivators,more than anything else.To people like Septimus,who fought because of romantic,patriotic emotions (which have been transposed in this context as parallel irony),psychiatrists,assylums or drugs could not have been the solutions.Before the war,Septimus was known to have been fond of Shakespeare and poetry and now he was suicidal,bed-ridden and empty,trying to find out the cost of his living so far.He never finds it in reality (or perhaps he does) because he jumps from the window when the people come into his house to take him to the assylum along with another doctor.
Richard and Clarissa Dalloway's 17 year old Elizabeth Dalloway is seen to go out shopping with Miss Kilman,her history teacher.Miss Kilman is a character that Mrs.Dalloway cannot simply stand.She wonders that the next generation,that to which her daughter belongs will commit the same errors as them and that this would continue till a longer time than the mind is capable of thinking.
As late arrivers in the party,Lady Bradshaw (the psychiatrist's wife) mentions that Septimus has committed suicide.The situation points out people like Dr.William Bradshaw as people who captivate,people who control.The defiance,personified to be the character of Septimus,sneak out ways,even when ways refuse to seek way outs in themselves.Septimus,the crippled and the diseased has a heroic existence and he seeks freedom in the only possible method he was left with - to leave his soul uncaptivated,to let go,to go on.
As the guests at the party begin to bid adieu,the room gradually clears and Peter Walsh gains back a strange enthusiasm - of the kind that drew his attention towards Clarissa.
The story begins and ends in a very slow motion,perhaps the slowest possible motion a novel can be authored in.But it leads us through the important parts and allows us to rest from the current,capitalistic idea of bewildering speed and motion.

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