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Mrs Dalloway

Mrs Dalloway

by Virginia Woolf

Madness Quotes Page 3

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #7

No crime; love; he repeated, fumbling for his card and pencil, when a Skye terrier snuffed his trousers and he started in an agony of fear. It was turning into a man! He could not watch it happen! It was horrible, terrible to see a dog become a man! At once the dog trotted away. (4.43)

Daily life is agony for Septimus. Transformations occur right before his eyes, and he lives in constant fear.

Quote #8

In the street, vans roared past him; brutality blared out on placards; men were trapped in mines; women burnt alive; and once a maimed file of lunatics being exercised or displayed for the diversion of the populace (who laughed aloud), ambled and nodded and grinned past him, in the Tottenham Court Road, each half apologetically, yet triumphantly, inflicting his hopeless woe. And would he go mad? (4.82)

Part of Septimus’ madness is that he sees the madness in everything else. He can’t get the combat images out of his head and he seems to have some psychic connection to other people struggling with madness.

Quote #9

He could see the first moment they came into the room (the Warren Smiths they were called); he was certain directly he saw the man; it was a case of extreme gravity. It was a case of complete breakdown – complete physical and nervous breakdown, with every symptom in an advanced stage, he ascertained in two or three minutes (writing answers to questions, murmured discreetly, on a pink card). (4.106)

Dr Bradshaw notices the madness that Dr Holmes seems all too willing to ignore. Septimus is an extreme example.

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