Hello all! My name is Drew Blanchette. I'm 21 years old and a class member of the Virginia Woolf Seminar. First and foremost, I must warn potential viewers that I have no knowledge of Virginia Woolf's work. I am hoping that as the class progresses and I have a chance to read her apparently fabulous works (or so I have been told) I will develop some knowledge and appreciation. As my blogs increase perhaps the reader will pick up on my progression! Hopefully whoever looks over my site will enjoy my posts and not be too bored by my analyzing attempts. Thanks ahead of time for viewing my site!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Mrs. Dalloway

How does Leonard feel about Virginia’s opinions on marriage?  I wouldn’t call her opinion gracious or even optimistic on the union of man and woman.  In Jacob’s Room she has her main character depicted as a slight womanizer, in Miss Ormerod she respects her for being single, in Mrs. Dalloway her main character has chosen marriage for ease and comfort and not for love.  I do understand that when someone writes a novel they aren’t necessarily writing about themselves, but then again, how can anyone forget themselves?  There isn’t exactly a pure trend in any of works other than her seemingly grudge towards marriage.  Another quick example would be in A Room of One’s Own..didn’t Virginia claim that the only way a woman can write is if she has an income from some type of source and a place that she owns personally?  It would seem that Virginia respects single women.  I know that she was married later in life considering the time period that she lived in.  But I also know that she had an affair with someone named Vita?  I realize this is going off on a tangent but I since our entire seminar is focused around Virginia it would make sense to know the woman behind the writing.
                Peter strikes me as a self conscious individual. Why? Well, perhaps it comes from Peter showing up on Mrs. Dalloway’s doorstep seeking something, even after their relationship ended 30 years ago.  Furthermore, he can’t help but to criticize Mrs. Dalloway in his mind while he doesn’t focus on the person he should, himself.  He thinks that she has aged and yet he links himself to a younger crowd, being unwilling to accept his own aging.  As he follows the unknown young woman through the streets of London it echoes Peter’s own disillusionment about his path in life. He is older and yet he doesn’t feel accomplished or has found his true passion. According to Mrs. Dalloway he didn’t follow through with his dreams, and perhaps his walk through London shows his confusion about how to find his own route by himself.   
                In a way, Mrs. Dalloway is presented as a sad character.  She wants to give her life purpose by completing the small day to day tasks that she can do, but in reality she doesn’t have to do anything.  Mrs. Dalloway could sit in a chair and command her servants, and she would never have to lift a finger.  However, the reader gets the sense that she isn’t content to be lazy and unproductive.  The first line in the novel that states she will get the flowers herself seems to emphasize her desire for independence and purpose.  I get the impression that Virginia pities Mrs. Dalloway because she was unable to follow her own path.  Instead, Mrs. Dalloway decided to conform and take the easiest, respectable choice.  The reader knows that Mrs. Dalloway has an adventurous side to her that she has beaten down for so long.  Mrs. Dalloway kissed a woman and was thrilled by the experience.  She also enjoys Peter but turns him down because she knows he would be an unsafe choice.  Mrs. Dalloway is sadly her own person, but she has made herself into just another woman of her time. She had the potential to be special and unique, but she was too scared to act on her desires. 

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