Mrs. Dalloway Paper
Mrs. Dalloway, by Virginia Woolf, was written in 1925, a time filled with many large changes to civilization. The book was written and set right after the biggest war human-kind can remember which killed millions of people, during the peak of industrialization which caused the mass production of items and created thousands of new inventions, while modernist arts and thoughts were growing and, and when national pride was very large for the citizens of the Allied countries in World War I. Virginia Woolf draws on many aspects of these changes in Mrs. Dalloway, especially on the idea of modernism which can be defined as new thought, art, and culture. Specifically Woolf focuses on how the new technologies brought about because of modernism and the industrial revolution differ from the natural environment and all pure things found in it. In the book Mrs. Dalloway, Woolf argues that the natural world is more important than modernism and new technologies. Throughout the book, Woolf shows how distracting technology can be through the interactions her characters have with many different forms of it. In her article “Modern Transportation and Vitalism in Mrs. Dalloway”, Cheryl Volzer argues that the modern world the characters from the book live in is disruptive and only nature brings peace back to them. She also argues that the modern technologies experienced by the characters cause them to lose emotions and feelings. Volzer points out that very often it is a car, clock chime, or other piece of machinery that “not only hinders Clarissa’s path, but also discontinues her sensory driven memories of love. The novel suggests that modernity… attempts and succeeds in terminating thoughts rooted in emotion and feeling” (2). While I agree all of the modern objects are very distracting for the characters in the novel, and that it is only when they are in some way connected with nature that they are more at peace; however, I disagree with her thought that the...
Cited: Cheryl. "Modern Transportation and Vitalism in Mrs. Dalloway." San Juan Unified School District. N.p., 16 Nov. 2009. Web. 6 May 2013. http://www.sanjuan.edu/webpages/rvolzer/files/moderntransportation.pdf.
Kostkowska, Justyna. "“Scissors and Silks,” “Flowers and Trees,” and “Geraniums Ruined by the War”: Virginia Woolf’s Ecological Critique of Science in Mrs. Dalloway.” “Women’s Studies 33.2 (2004): 183-98. Academic Search Elite. Taylor & Francis LTD., May 2004. Web. 9 May 2013. <http://web.ebscohost.com/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=419e5d71-988a-4bd2-b44b-1820b3b3997d%40sessionmgr112&vid=3&hid=118>.
Woolf, Virginia. Mrs. Dalloway. 1925. New York: Harcourt, Brace and Co. 1981. Print.
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