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Mrs Dalloway

Mrs Dalloway

by Virginia Woolf

Society and Class Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

Mrs Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself. (1.1)

Though this sentence comes across as hardly striking, it in fact opens up some of the important themes of class in the novel. The fact that Clarissa is going herself, instead of sending a servant, is a big deal. Note, however, that she’s "Mrs Dalloway" here – that’s her proper identity out in the world.

Quote #2

The King and Queen were at the Palace. And everywhere, though it was still so early, there was a beating, a stirring of galloping ponies, tapping of cricket bats; Lords, Ascot, Ranelagh and all the rest of it […]. (1.6)

The British people find comfort in royalty and all the traditions of the British Empire. As the novel goes on, Woolf suggests that these associations have a dark side, too.

Quote #3

[…] she, too, loving it as she did with an absurd and faithful passion, being part of it, since her people were courtiers once in the time of the Georges, she, too, was going that very night to kindle and illuminate; to give her party. (1.6)

Clarissa identifies very closely with all of the material objects – the "stuff" of British society. The fact that her family has been important for generations is something she thinks reflects well upon her.

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