Die Heuning Pot Literature Guide
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Themes

Little Words, Big Ideas

Society and Class

Post-World War I British society was very conservative and hierarchical (that means that social class was super important). Throughout Mrs Dalloway, we see how deeply aware characters are of their...

Time

One of the amazing things about Mrs Dalloway is the creative use of time. The novel starts in an early morning in June 1923 and ends the next day at 3am; that means fewer than twenty-four hours pas...

Isolation

Just about every character in Mrs Dalloway feels isolated in some way. Although many of them are bound by tradition, class, history, love of empire, or survival of trauma, they still feel very alon...

Warfare

An important point about this "war" novel is that no actual warfare takes place. All we see is the aftermath – the trauma and the shell-shock, the ripples of damage to those who survived. The war...

Suffering

Suffering takes many forms in Mrs Dalloway. People may be physically ill with vague but debilitating problems, or be deeply, emotionally damaged, or somewhere between. Although almost everyone in t...

Repression

Mrs Dalloway is filled with repression. Our title character, Clarissa, is constantly holding in emotion so she can conform to English social standards. What she feels on the inside and what she pro...

Memory and the Past

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 Mr...

Madness

In Mrs Dalloway, we are given the opportunity to see the world through the eyes of a man who has gone mad because of the war. Though we can all certainly see that Septimus has been driven mad by th...
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