Clarissa’s party stirs up memories for many of the characters, and memories are constantly woven into the present-day thoughts of the characters. The past affects each character differently in Mrs Dalloway. Certain memories are very keen (and much happier) for Clarissa, such as getting a kiss from Sally Seton. She cherishes these moments as the best of her life. For Peter, the past is mostly just painful: he still can’t get over his love for Clarissa and so he constantly returns to the summers at Bourton in order to make sense of what happened. For Septimus, memories are haunting and painful. He continues to hallucinate that he’s seeing Evans get killed, and memories of the war dominate his mind. Though he struggles to see beauty, the present is constantly interrupted by gruesome visions of the past.
Clarissa lives more in the future than in the past.
Peter dwells on the past because he is ashamed of what he has become in the present.