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Mrs. Dalloway Summary

5 min read ⌚ 

Mrs Dalloway PDFSometimes it’s hard being on the same wavelength as everyone else.

Nevertheless, don’t sell your uniqueness by adding fuel to the fire.

This book summary will show you what exactly we mean by that.

Who Should Read “Mrs. Dalloway”? And Why?

Staying abreast of the unpredictable storms of the society can often come at a certain cost.

Generally speaking, the social enigma has always been the heart of so many quarrels, and it’s time we change that.

Mrs. Dalloway questions the culture we thrive in, and how to remain true to ourselves, regardless of other factors.

We believe it’s a good fit for everyone, especially young adults who have plans to climb the social ladder.

Virginia Woolf Biography

Virginia WoolfVirginia Woolf was a renowned English writer and novelist (1882 – 1941).

She cast doubt over the factors that pushed the English society forward. She will be remembered for her immeasurable contribution as a modernist.

Her most notable works are A Room of One’s Own, The Waves, To the Lighthouse, etc.


The plot unfolds in no more than 15-hours interval – from the early morning to the late evening. Mrs. Dalloway as the leading character organizes a party and as a host, she is required to do all the preparations.

Clarissa Dalloway is a respectable upper-class mistress and a housewife who surely takes good care of her status.

On her way over to the flower-store, she unexpectedly comes across an old friend – Peter Walsh. Pain from the past fuels the magnitude of the problem surrounding their relationship.

Peter never really recovered from Mrs. Dalloway’s refusal for marriage. Peter’s marriage proposal haunts him, and he has still hard time accepting the situation and move on.

Peter goes straight to the point and asks Clarissa – Are you happy with Richard? She doesn’t answer the question because her daughter Elizabeth shows up.

Peter still disheartened, goes to Regent’s Park to contemplate the things that trouble him so much.

At this point, the stage belongs to a certain man called Septimus. As a WW1 veteran, he was on the battlefield and witnessed some terrible sights that leave permanent damage.

Septimus was injured when a group of enemy soldiers broke the defense lines and attacked the trenches.

Septimus and Lucrezia enjoy spending time in Regent’s Park, recalling the horrors.

Septimus is now mentally weak and awaits the appointment with the renowned psychiatrist Sir William Bradshaw. Same as the other boys, Septimus felt duty-bound to join the war out of patriotic reasons.

He was also a poet in ascendance who indulged in the works of Shakespeare and others. When his country’s future was put under the radar, he enlisted in the army and sent to the front.

From today’s perspective, Septimus condemns the war, especially as a survivor who has a hard time sleeping at night. When his friend Evans died, the last part of hope died alongside with him.

Septimus on numerous occasions indicates that this is not the England he and his comrades fought for.

He is disgusted by the hypocrisy in the English society, and no longer feels patriotic about his country.  Septimus is not the only one suffering from mental issues.

The psychiatrist William diagnoses him with “a lack of proportion” and says to his wife that Septimus must be transferred to a mental facility.

Richard Dalloway, the husband of Clarissa, is the next key element in this story. He is having lunch with two persons of high stature, Hugh Whitbread, and Lady Bruton. Bruton was helped by them to contact Times – the most prominent journal in the country.

Richard asks to be excused from the table in order to return home to his wife. He gives her a bouquet of roses, and intends to express his love, but hesitates to do so. It was a long time ago since he told her that he loves her.  

Clarissa, on the other hand, investigates the gap between partners and questions why it occurs in the first place.

As a woman, she is happy about the level of freedom given to her but is not too content about Richard’s lethargy when it comes to her.

Mrs. Dalloway believes that for a marriage to work, you must split the difference, and make sincere compromises.

Clarissa pays a visit to Miss Kilman and Elizabeth. Jealousy and hatred co-exist on both sides, and they condemn one another due to the influence they both are trying to instill over Elizabeth.

In the meantime, Septimus enjoys the last moments with his wife Lucrezia before he is taken over to a mental institution.

A great sense of fear overwhelms Septimus when Dr. Holmes arrives, and he jumps from the window next to him, to avoid “capture” of his soul.

Peter is the first person on the scene and overhears the sound of an ambulance that comes to aid Septimus. Meanwhile, he once again states that English society is going downhill.

Afterward, Peter attends Clarissa’s party, where all members of the upper-society are summoned.

Clarissa is aware that her work regarding the party, doesn’t actually produces the results she expected. Peter looks critically of the situation, sickened by insincerity among the personalities there.

From all the people in the apartment, Peter is perhaps one of the few who failed to achieve its goals.

Nevertheless, they are all aware that the circle of “popularity” can turn in a flash. A sudden twist of fate can push you up or down.

It’s sad that Elizabeth is amazed by this lifestyle, and she is going in the same direction as Clarissa’s generation. Sir William Bradshaw shows up a little late because of the suicide committed earlier by the war-veteran Septimus.

Clarissa retreats to her chambers and wants some privacy to contemplate Septimus’ death. She gets the big picture and realizes that persons like Sir William make life unbearable for the ordinary people.

She supports Septimus’ decision to commit suicide not willing to sell his soul to “monsters” produced by the social system.

The party draws to a close, and the guests are gradually leaving the ceremony. Peter still feels the excitement and love for Clarissa, even after all these years – hoping that one day his dreams will become a reality.

Mrs. Dalloway Epilogue

Reaching the sky, and understanding this existence takes more than a specific life-experience.

It requires openness, and willingness to be in the skin of those who are struggling to make a living.

Coming to an understanding that every moment is a mystery, can become a turning point in everyone’s life.

Mrs. Dalloway finds herself in the middle of the mockery conducted by all spheres of the English society, in particular, the upper-circle.

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“Mrs Dalloway PDF Quotes”

She had the perpetual sense, as she watched the taxi cabs, of being out, out, far out to sea and alone; she always had the feeling that it was very, very, dangerous to live even one day. Click To Tweet He thought her beautiful, believed her impeccably wise; dreamed of her, wrote poems to her, which, ignoring the subject, she corrected in red ink. Click To Tweet What does the brain matter compared with the heart? Click To Tweet Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself. Click To Tweet To love makes one solitary. Click To Tweet

Our Critical Review

Indeed, one can never be sure of its end.

How we live today, provides a reasonable basis for how tomorrow will be.

Don’t take anything for granted and prepare yourself for what is to come.

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