Mrs. Dalloway Essay

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Dell'Amico teaches English at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. In this essay, she examines the question of plot in Virginia Woolf's novel.

Mrs. Dalloway is a work of literature that can be classified as narrative fiction. That is, it tells a story, or a narrative, that is fictional, or made-up. Novels and short stories are narrative fictions usually structured by a plot. But Mrs. Dalloway is a novel without a plot. This essay examines what this means and why the author might have chosen to eschew this typical narrative convention.

In Aspects of the Novel, Woolf's contemporary, E. M. Forster, explains the difference between story and plot in the following way:

A plot [like a story] is also a narrative of events, the
emphasis falling on causality. "The king dies and
then the queen died," is a story. "The king died, and
then the queen died...


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This section contains 1,939 words
(approx. 5 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Mrs. Dalloway Study Guide
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Mrs. Dalloway from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.