The New Dress Themes

This Study Guide consists of approximately 28 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The New Dress.
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Alienation and Loneliness

 Mabel Waring's feelings of alienation surface when she attends a party given by Clarissa Dalloway. The reader first sees her insecurity when the Dalloways's servant, Mrs. Barnet, immediately recognizes Mabel's humble origins from the new dress that she has had made for the party. The servant's behavior affirms Mabel's belief that she is an outsider and does not belong in this society. Social interactions at the party further verify her estrangement. Although the other guests engage Mabel in conversation, an acute self-consciousness about her appearance and manners makes her unable to communicate on anything other than a superficial level. Mabel's self-absorption and self-centeredness isolate her from the other party guests and make any communication impossible. Wrapped up in her own world, she never carefully considers what others say; instead, Mabel assumes that everything at the party somehow involves her. In the story, she imagines the...

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This section contains 540 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The New Dress Study Guide
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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.
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