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Mrs Dalloway

Mrs Dalloway

by Virginia Woolf

Isolation Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #7

The rope was cut; he mounted; he was free, as it was decreed that he, Septimus, the lord of men, should be free; alone (since his wife had thrown away her wedding ring; since she had left him), he, Septimus, was alone […]. (4.41)

Septimus is oppressed by the idea that he has to act normal for his wife. When he sees that she no longer wears her wedding ring, he feels like he’s finally been released from that responsibility.

Quote #8

So he was deserted. The whole world was clamouring: Kill yourself, kill yourself, for our sakes […] now that he was quite alone, condemned, deserted, as those who are about to die are alone, there was a luxury in it, an isolation full of sublimity; a freedom which the attached can never know (4.93).

In spite of having horrific visions, Septimus doesn’t want to die. He believes the world wants him to die because he’s a living reminder of what war does to people and that it’s not all about being a hero.

Quote #9

And there is a dignity in people; a solitude; even between husband and wife a gulf; and that one must respect, thought Clarissa […] for one would not part with it oneself, or take it, against his will, from one's husband, without losing one's independence, one's self-respect – something, after all, priceless. (5.23)

Clarissa is comforted by the fact that Richard gives her space that Peter never would have. Peter’s love is oppressive and needy, but Richard respects that they’re two different people.

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