Mrs. Dalloway Essay

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In the following essay, Johnson offers an overview of Mrs. Dalloway, focusing on its theme of insanity.

In her . . . novel, Mrs. Dalloway, [Woolf] continues to work out her problems of theme and form along the lines laid out first in the short stories and Jacob's Room. Thus most of the "ideas" in Mrs. Dalloway are carried over from Jacob's Room, though she adds the major theme of insanity. But that is also simply a development of two ideas in the preceding novel: (1) that there must be a positive (loving) connection between the inner and outer life; and (2) that institutional power is the expression of a negative (unloving) connection, Jacob's death being attributed to war, a manifestation of institutional mania for power over individuals.

Millions of Jacobs died in 1914-18, Woolf insists, because of this mania in high places. Now, in Mrs. Dalloway, Virginia Woolf shows us another victim...

(read more from the Critical Essay #3 section)

This section contains 3,557 words
(approx. 9 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Mrs. Dalloway Study Guide
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