Psychological Analysis of Peter Walsh – Mrs.Dalloway

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Psychological Analysis – Peter Walsh p. 154-158

Right before the beginning of this passage in Virginia Woolf’s Mrs.Dalloway on pages 154-158 we experience Peter returning home to his hotel room while day dreaming about his recent run in with Clarissa and about their long rocky past together. While on his walk to the hotel, he was a witness to the aftermath of Septimus’s suicide and as the sound of the ambulance sirens ring through his head (Woolf, 151). Peter does not know who is riding in the ambulance, nor does he know what state they are in, whether dead or alive. He is just one of the many people that happened to be out on the street at the time of the suicide, and even this does not seem to be able to clear his mind of Clarissa. As I read through these few pages, I couldn’t help but notice how alone and secluded Peter seemed to be time and time again, in his single hotel room, on his walk that he took alone, even though the way that he daydreams of interactions with both Clarissa and later with Daisy. How things could have been if he had started a life with either one of them. When Woolf writes, “For sleep, one bed; for sitting in, one arm chair; for cleaning one’s teeth and shaving one’s chin, one tumbler, one looking glass,” (Woolf, 155) it is driven in more and more how removed he is from everyone else, how left out he is, with each singular item Peter notices in the room. But why is Peter noticing all of these things? And more importantly, why is he not reacting to them? In chapter seven of Texts & Contexts, author Steven Lynn defines Repression as “the mind’s essential strategy for hiding desires and fears.” (Lynn, 197), and soon thereafter defines Isolation as “Understanding something that should be upsetting, but failing to react to it.” (201,202) I think that both of these methods are very accurate ways to describe the different battles Peter is going through both internally and outwardly. His extreme uncertainty and indecisiveness about basic...
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