Study Guide

Dr Holmes in Mrs Dalloway

By Virginia Woolf

Dr Holmes

Dr Holmes is Septimus’ thoroughly unsympathetic general practitioner, who believes that there’s "nothing whatever the matter" (4.83) with Septimus. Seriously, dude? Instead of taking Septimus’ problems seriously, Holmes suggests that he take bromides, play golf, and go to the music hall. Not so helpful. In the end, when Septimus commits suicide, Dr Holmes calls him a "coward" and expresses a complete lack of understanding about why Septimus would do such a thing. His character is yet another representation of post-war British culture that has not accepted the trauma that was caused by the war. Woolf is really pounding us over the head with this one.