She could not sit beside him when he stared so and did not see her and made everything terrible; sky and tree, children playing, dragging carts blowing whistles falling down; all were terrible.
Lucrezia Smith feels embarrassed by her husband’s behavior as they sit in the park early in the novel. Septimus has spoken of killing himself, but the doctor does not feel alarmed. Yet Lucrezia suffers alongside Septimus. She misses her family in Italy. She has lost weight; her wedding ring no longer fits. She lives in fear that Septimus really will take his own life, which, later, he does.
He was a prey to revelations at that time. This one—that she would marry Dalloway—was blinding—overwhelming at the moment.
Peter Walsh recalls the moment when he realized that Clarissa would choose Richard Dalloway over himself. They were at a dinner party, and Clarissa was seated next to Dalloway, chatting. Peter suddenly sees the possibility of his being rejected, and although he does have one very happy moment when Clarissa invites him to go boating, the time they spend together merely prolongs his agony. He has lost her and will never fully recover from the disgrace.
But such things happen to every one. Every one has friends who were killed in the War. Every one gives up something when they marry.
Lucrezia feels such disgrace at her husband’s behavior in public that she walks away from him, frowning and angry at their situation. Here, she thinks about his lack of ability to accept and adapt to what she considers a common experience. He grows stranger and stranger, more and more afraid of others, more unhinged from reality. The doctors tell her to get him outdoors, but she feels ashamed of how he looks and acts. In this scene, they are about to go see Doctor Bradshaw, who she hopes can help them.
Somehow it was her disaster—her disgrace. It was her punishment to see sink and disappear here a man, there a woman, in this profound darkness, and she forced to stand here in her evening dress.
Clarissa has left her own party to be alone to contemplate the suicide she has just learned about. As she has earlier in the novel, she feels a deep connection with someone she does not know but with whom she empathizes. Like Septimus Warren Smith, she feels the deep emotions of passion and failure. Like him, she feels both the fragility and absurdity of life. Like him, she feels the profound darkness of human existence.