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Mrs Dalloway

Mrs Dalloway

by Virginia Woolf

Suffering Quotes Page 3

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #7

Those ruffians, the Gods, shan't have it all their own way, – her notion being that the Gods, who never lost a chance of hurting, thwarting and spoiling human lives were seriously put out if, all the same, you behaved like a lady. That phase came directly after Sylvia's death – that horrible affair. (4.69)

Clarissa witnessed her own sister being crushed by a tree – an accident that was apparently her father’s fault. Like Septimus’ reaction to the loss of Evans, Clarissa moves on and behaves "properly" (meaning stoically) in the face of trauma. Clearly that doesn’t help anything.

Quote #8

One cannot bring children into a world like this. One cannot perpetuate suffering, or increase the breed of these lustful animals, who have no lasting emotions, but only whims and vanities, eddying them now this way, now that. (4.81)

Septimus and Rezia would never have children – that would mean bringing more suffering into the world. Human beings can only be miserable, they think.

Quote #9

If only she could make her weep; could ruin her; humiliate her; bring her to her knees crying, You are right! But this was God's will, not Miss Kilman's. It was to be a religious victory. So she glared; so she glowered. (5.40)

Miss Kilman wants nothing more than to provoke a response from Clarissa. She wants to have all of Clarissa's privileges (and to be her, in a sense) and at the same time, she wants to destroy her – talk about a tough spot. The two women fight a war over control of Elizabeth.

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