Mrs Dalloway

is a direct reaction to the end of the war. For four years, the country had lived under the shadow of mounting death figures and the female experience during these times was of frustration at the lack of opportunity to affect the outcome, and constantly fearing the worse. After the war was over, there was an extreme sense of relief, but also of anticlimax. Everyday life was difficult to comprehend after such a sustained period of warfare. The party at the end of Mrs Dalloway represents the difficulty that people had in coming to terms with the return to normal life. The party also gives Clarissa’s life a sense of direction and meaning where formerly it had none.

The contradictions and anomalies which the Modernists attack through

their literature and art are all to be found in Mrs Dalloway. In many ways Clarissa Dalloway is the embodiment of all that Modernism stands against - the shallowness and materialism in post-war society. Mrs Dalloway’s party could symbolise the last stand of the Victorian establishment with the beauty and potential of Elizabeth entering at the end representing the beauty of the newly established Modern era.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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