1. How does Virginia Woolf use “little Elsie Mitchell” to move from Peter’s thoughts to Lucrezia’s?
We move from Peter’s thoughts of how the park had “changed very little since he was a boy” and observing what was happening in the park, to Lucrezia’s thoughts, when we are told through Peter’s thoughts that “Little Elsie Mitchell” had run into her legs and fallen over. We are then told through Lucrezia’s thoughts that she is worried about her husband, “she was saying, having left Septimus, who wasn’t Septimus any longer…” we see from her thoughts that she recognises the problem Septimus has, and wants him to be better because its making her life a misery as well.
2. What do Lucrezia’s thoughts reveal about her situation? What is the effect of all the questions she keeps asking herself?
Through Lucrezia’s thoughts we find out that she has left Milan to live in England, leaving behind a “beautiful home, and there her sisters lived still, making hats” we discover that she has left behind a good life in Italy, in order to live with her husband who she loves, and is now extremely worried about because of his condition. The questions she keeps asking herself reinforce the point that she is worried and reinforce the point of what she has left behind “Why should she suffer?” the repetition of this, combined with the knowledge of what she has left behind, shows how much she loves Septimus, that she is willing to leave all that behind, and to still be there, even though he has mentally changed completely, and is no longer recognisable as the man she married.
3. Find examples of Septimus’ behaviour and speech which make her despair.
Septimus believes he can see Evans, his comrade who was killed in front of him during the war, in everyday situations. “…go back to him sitting there in the green chair under the tree, talking to himself, or to that dead man Evans, whom she had only seen once for a moment in the shop.” The...
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