The New Dress Historical Context

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Although World War I had ended nearly nine years before the publication of Virginia Woolf's short story "The New Dress," in 1927, the lingering effects of the war resonate throughout the work. Many commentators have remarked that much of Woolf's fiction has little connection to events taking place in the world. This may seem to be true of "The New Dress." It records one woman's impressions and experiences at a party. The disillusionment and despair that Mabel Waring exhibits during the party, however, may be seem to mirror the anguish that touched much of English society after the war.

Britain in the 1920s was characterized by contradiction and paradox. It was a time of celebration— Britain and its allies had won the war— yet postwar elation quickly faded as war debts and loss of markets threatened to destabilize the English economy. Unemployment figures rose sharply, and prices...

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This section contains 556 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
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Short Stories for Students
The New Dress from Short Stories for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.