Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf, published in 1925, is a modernist novel that unfolds over the course of a single day in the life of Clarissa Dalloway, an upper-class woman in post-World War I London. The narrative alternates between Clarissa’s preparations for a party she is hosting that evening and the internal thoughts and experiences of other characters connected to her, including Septimus Warren Smith, a shell-shocked war veteran. The novel explores themes of time, memory, and the impact of war on the individual.
Set in a post-war society grappling with the aftermath of the conflict, Mrs. Dalloway employs stream-of-consciousness narrative techniques, allowing readers to delve into the minds of its characters. Woolf’s prose is marked by its poetic and introspective qualities, offering a nuanced exploration of the complexities of human consciousness. Published during a period of significant cultural and social change, the novel is celebrated for its innovative narrative style and its portrayal of the inner lives of its characters. Mrs. Dalloway has become a canonical work of modernist literature, influencing subsequent generations of writers. Its investigation into the subjective nature of reality and the passage of time continues to resonate with readers.