The Significance Of Water In Mrs. Dalloway

1235 words, 5 pages

Intro Sample...


Throughout Mrs. Dalloway, the use of imagery involving water is very apparent. These images connect different parts of the novel to each other and draw together the lives of two seemingly unrelated characters, Septimus and Clarissa. Through this imagery, and through Virginia Woolf's unique style, connections can also be drawn between things like past and present and the relationship between Clarissa and Septimus, even though these characters never actually meet. Thus, Woolf's style and her use of water imagery help to enhance the theme of interconnectedness in the novel.
Virginia Woolf wrote this novel in a style that is unlike that of most authors. Instead of including chapters or breaks in between different sections of the story,... View More »

Body Sample...


”) Also included in the very beginning of the book are phrases that relate to waves and the ocean, such as “the flap of a wave,” “the kiss of a wave,” and “rising” and “falling” of the rooks on page 1. Imagery and diction pertaining to the rising and falling of waves in the ocean is evident not only in the first few pages, but throughout the story as well. These images introduce the idea that water is closely related to the events in the novel, and how water reflects a lot of the action that takes place in it.
Water is like the backbone that ties together all of the events and characters in the story. Similar to how Clarissa “plunges” into her day on the first page, Septimus feels that he is slowly sinking into insanity after his experience in World War I, and his subsequent shell-shock as a result of the horrible things that he witnessed. On page 67, Woolf describes Septimus’s insanity: “But he himself remained high on his rock, like a drowned sailor on a rock. I leant over the edge of the boat and fell down, he thought. I went under the sea. I have been dead, and yet am now alive, but let me rest still; he begged…”

Septimus’s feelings of drowning and being unable to escape his life are similar to how Clarissa feels in her own life and with her marriage to Richard, which she still wonders about because she had more passion for Peter, but married Richard instead so that she could have more financial security. On page 8, Woolf describes Clarissa’s feeling of being isolated from the rest of the world, which are similar to how Septimus feels in his insanity: ...

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