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EK Sparks
Engl 310
Clemson U
April 2005

Paper Topics for Mrs. Dalloway

Mostly Extrinsic Approaches
• Autobiographical approach—look at Mrs. Dalloway from the perspective of how presentation of Septimus relates to Woolf’s own experiences with madness and Drs. (Biographical) • Septimus and shell-shock (Historical background)

• Political context: liberal (labor) coming in Tories (conservatives) going out.

More Intrinsic (text-based)\Approaches
• Look at characters etc using FRYE
o MODE: Low mimetic? Moving into ironic? Is it comedic or tragic? o Archetypal approach … Campbell..scapegoat etc. Septimus as the dying god/ scapegoat • Relationship between Septimus and Clarissa (sources: Modern Library intro o Dependence on each other

o As reflecting opposing world views
▪ Gender different
▪ Social status different
o As reflecting similar world views
▪ Inability to feel
▪ Linking images: Birds, water, sunlight
• Other doubles for Clarissa
o Clarissa and Rezia
o Clarissa and Mrs. Kilman
• Focus on Peter Walsh
o Peter’s sex life.. romanticism, knife, stalking, little boys etc. o Thoughts on love
o Relationship to Clarissa
o Peter vs. Richard: Clarissa’s choice
• Focus on Clarissa
o Is she a hero or a protagonist?
o Do we like or dislike her?
o Is she presented as a goddess in parallel to Septimus as the dying god? o What are her choices as a woman in that culture? Polarized sex roles • Focus on Sally Seaton
o How Clarissa relates to
o In comp/contrast to Peter Walsh
o Lesbian readings of the novel
• PLOT/ NARRATIVE issues
o One day issue
o Dis-jointed structure—various pov’s
o Woolf’s comment about tunneling process (digging out caves) o...
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