Sunday, February 20, 2011

Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf

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Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf was written in 1925 follows the ordinary day of an english woman named Clarissa Dalloway. The novel takes place in one post-world war I day from morning to night. Clarissa begins her day picking up flowers and finishing her plans for her dinner party that evening. She begins thinking about her husband Mr. Dalloway and how she had made the right choice between two other men, one being Peter Walsh. Peter then unexpectedly drops by Carissa's house later one just back from India. The meeting abruptly ends when Peter asks his ex-girlfriend and the woman he proposed to, Clarissa, if she was happy with her life. Peter begins to feel all the emotion again and leave to spend sometime in Regent's Park. Peter then watches a man named Septimus, a man who suffers WWI injuries, and his wife. Lucrezia and her husband decided to wait in the park for Septimus' psychiatrist appointment. He obviously suffers from a mental illness due to the horrors of the war. Sir William Bradshaw, the psychiatrist, fails to realize that he may be able to help Septimus and decides to send him to a mental institution. Later on, the doctors come to pick up Septimus, but he feels that they will take away everything he is. Septimus, being suicidal, believes the only way out is to kill him self. Septimus throws himself off the window ledge. The party starts and all major and minor characters arrive, but Bradshar arrives later because one of his patients has died. Clarissa hears of the news and is angry that he has brought news of a death to her party but almost admires Septimus for not compromising himself or his soul. She begins to feel disgraced that she only strives for a higher social status while other people are dealing with problems greater than her own. Clarissa ends the novel with an epiphany that she has chosen the wrong path in life. She regrets most of the decisions she has made, yet accepts them and returns to her party.


1. Clarissa begins to see her own life in a new light once she hears of Septimus' death. Do tragic events put things into perspective and show what's important in life?


2. At the end of the novel, Clarissa regrets the decisions she made in life, but accepts the mistakes she has made. Do you think that you are able to accept the past or never move on from it?

20 comments:

Tyler C. 5-6 said...

1. I believe that, for any normal human being, tragic events do put some things into perspective. Depending on what the tragic event is, a person's life could be forever changed. The death of a loved one could leave any human inconsolable for days to weeks to years. Obviously not all people react to similar events in similar ways, however, I do believe that truly horrible events affect us all in some way.
2. Again, to answer this question depends on the person being asked. Personally, I can accept the past simply because that's exactly what it is: the past. I don't mean to state the obvious, but what has happened has happened and there's no such thing as undoing anything in life. However, as stated in my first answer, not all people react to similar events in similar ways. Unfortunately, some people can't move on from their pasts whether it be because what they've been through is simply terrible or because their characteristics as a person doesn't allow them to move on.

Jacob B 11-12 said...

1. I believe that tragic events can put things into prospective for people. For example the death of a loved one may make them realize how close they were to you.
2. I believe I am able to accept the past altough others may not be able to. I know that it cannot be changed so therefore I know that there is nothing else to do but accept it.

David G. 13-14 said...

2. I'm personally able to accept the past because I know there is nothing I can do to change it. The only way to make yourself a better person is to look back on the past and improve what you believe to be things that you did wrong and wish to never experience again. Not being able to let go of the past is a sure fire way to hold yourself back in every way possible and never truly see your own full potential.

LibbyS5/6 said...

I believe that tragic events do help put things into perspective. They help you realize that nothing is permanent and that you have to appreciate what you have.

McKenzieM 11-12 said...

I do think that tragic events can but things into perspective for most people. Losing something close to you can make you appreciate things a little more and be more grateful for everything you have.

Allie H 11-12 said...

Answering question number 1, I do think tragic events put things into perspective and show me what is important in life. Tragic events make me cherish things I may have taken for granted before, and they make me more thankful for what I have in life. I look at the people around me differently, and I appreciate the relationships I have with the people around me. They become more meaningful.

Megan L.11-12 said...

I agree with Tyler, for anybody tragic events make him or her realize something that maybe they didn't see before, it's only natural for people to question their own lives after the tragedy of another persons life.

I think that it is necessary for people to move on from the past rather than keep grudges and stick with the bad things that happened. If we are stuck in what did happen, we'll never see what is happening and we're missing out on life.

Fritz J. 13-14 said...

1. I do believe that tragic events put things into perspective and show what truly matters. It is sometimes difficult to appreciate what you have until it is gone.

SeanK56 said...

2. I think it's both, some things you will forgive yourself for but others you will always wonder what could have happened.

Emily C. 13-14 said...

I believe tragic event make most people realize the reality of life and that it can be taken away in a second, so it makes people view life differently.

I think the past is the past and it is important to be able to move on and learn from the mistakes made, there isno way to chane the past so it is important to focus on the present and the future and not become fixated on ways you could have changed something or made a different decision,

Kara K. 5/6 said...

Tragic events do put things into perspective and show people how important life is really. I have had family member close to me die and it shows me how lucky I am to have my life still. I think that I am able to accept the past and able to move on with life. Things in the past happen for a reason and you cannot stop them. It is hard to let go of things that happened for some people. They like to live in the past. I like to live in the present and live for what will come in the future.

Bojana D 11.12 said...

1. Tragic events do put things in perspective. When someone dies, it makes people (at least myself) realize how short life is and to appreciate every moment because you never know when life can end.

2. I think everyone should accept the past and move forward. If the past was a mistake, then learn from it and make sure you don't make those mistakes again.

Cassie M 11-12 said...

1. Tragic events definitely have an effect on people. A lot of people take things for granted until something bad happens, and usually when tragedy does occur the person learns a lot about what is really important to them. A family death, for example, might make one realize just how much they love their family, and they spend more time with them after that.

Kaitlyn H 11-12 said...

1. It's sad, but sometimes it takes bad things in life to appreciate the good things and to see what truly matters in life.
2. I probably am the same way. I can accept that no one can change the past so the only thing to do is move on from it and learn from it, but the thought of that mistake still stays in my head and I'm left wondering how things could have been different.

Rachael B MOds 5-6 said...

I think given enough time, everyone is able to recover from a past event to the extent that they allow themselves to. For some people, this can be forgetting the event completely, whereas for others it can mean shedding tears daily. I don't agree with the terminology "moving on." Most things affect a person in a way that doesn't allow them to forget what has happened. While a person may slowly allow their pain to be pushed to the back of their memory, and allow the pain to fade, I don't think completely moving on and forgetting that something ever happened is something that 99% of humans are able to do.

Hannah L 13-14 said...

1) I believe that some tragic events can really show you what's important and help you realize the things that you take for granted. I know that when my aunt had her brain aneurysm and almost lost her life we all realized how much we love her and how we took for granted seeing her every once in a while and now we try harder to spend more time with our family because you never know how much time you have.
2) I think that it depends on the person as to whether or not they can move on or not. I know I personally learn from the experiences I have and use these lessons in the rest of my life, but I do not think I end up stuck on the things that have happened and I believe I move on by learning from my mistakes.

Hayley D 11/12 said...

1. I think that tragic events definitely put things into perspective. When a tragic event occurs it shows us how absolutely horrible life could be. By seeing something tragic occur, or even hearing that something awful has happened it forces us to realize that our lives aren't as bad as we think. I also agree that it helps us to realize what is important in life, because so many people go through life by just accomplishing the things that have to get done. Yet they don't pause to enjoy the little things in life. It seems as though something big has to happen (such as a tragic event) in order to snap people out of the monotony in life.

James F (11-12) said...

1.yes all types of tragic events do this. for example i almost lost my father when i was younger. when i thought my dad was dying i realized how much i would hate my life if i didnt have my dad in my life.
2.i am able to accept the past. i do this because i like to learn from any mistake that i might make. i learn from these because i want to be the best that i can be. in order to do this i will learn to never repeat the same mistakes.

Ashley A. 11-12 said...

1) I think that tragic events definately show people what's actually important in their lives because it puts everything in perspective. For instance, while most people would view losing their phone, ipod, or computer as something rather awful, if they were to suddenly lose a loved one, the material items wouldn't seem nearly as valuble anymore.
2) I can accept my past, but if I had made the decision that I regret almost all the decisions in my entire life, as Mrs. Dalloway did, I wouldn't be able to say 'Oh well!' and go back to the party. I would accept the mistakes, but I would feel the need to do something about it.

Mrs. Sherwood said...

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