Mrs. Dalloway

The Real Cost of War in Mrs. Dalloway: A Study of Septimus Smith College

Septimus was one of the first to volunteer. He went to France to save an England which consisted almost entirely of Shakespeare’s plays and Miss Isabel Pole in a green dress walking in a square. There in the trenches… they had to be together, share with each other, fight with each other, quarrel with each other. But when Evans…was killed, just before the Armistice, in Italy, Septimus, far from showing any emotion or recognizing that here was the end of a friendship, congratulated himself upon feeling very little and very reasonably. The War had taught him (Woolf 86).

Propaganda in literature and art during WWI seemed commonplace, and yet, many artists and authors reacted against what they deemed falsities that occur in propaganda. Many did not believe that war is glorious, honorable, or brave, but difficult, painful, and unnecessary. After the war, the magnitude of the lives lost permeated the country, and the soldiers that returned home came back different than when they left. Authors used this as fuel for the fire, portraying what they believe true soldiers and war experiences. Several authors wrote against propaganda in the hopes that their country would stop consisting of the blind leading the blind. In this passage from...

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