Mrs. Dalloway

Which are the similarities and differences between Virginia Woolf and Clarissa Dalloway's life?

some events of their lives

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The theme of insanity was close to Woolf's past and present. She originally planned to have Clarissa die or commit suicide at the end of the novel but finally decided that she did want this manner of closure for Clarissa. As critic Manly Johnson elaborates, "The original intention to have Clarissa kill herself 'in the pattern of Woolf's own intermittent despair' was rejected in favor of a 'dark double' who would take that act upon himself. Creating Septimus Smith led directly to Clarissa's mystical theory of vicarious death and shared existence, saving the novel from a damaging balance on the side of darkness." Still, the disassociation of crippling insanity from the character of Clarissa Dalloway did not completely save Woolf from the pain of recollection. Woolf's husband and close friends compared her periods of insanity to a manic depression quite similar to the episodes experienced by Septimus. Woolf also included frustratingly impersonal doctor types in Bradshaw and Holmes that reflected doctors she had visited throughout the years.