Mrs. Dalloway

Urban Alienation in Mrs.Dalloway & “Music in the Tuileries” College

Mrs.Dalloway by Virginia Woolf was set in London in 1923, five years after the end of the First World War. World War I, which took place between 1914 and 1918, had devastating effects on the lives of soldiers and civilians, to a degree never experienced before. Mrs.Dalloway takes place in an imperial, urban London marked by its technological modernity and lurid ideas regarding political and social order. The city of London functions as another character in the novel and its relation to the other characters is critical for the understanding of the personalities of those characters. In addition, the city setting steers the technique of free and indirect discourse. The city of London in Mrs.Dalloway as a medium for understanding of societal dynamics is comparable to the function of Paris in Manet’s painting “Music in the Tuileries,” which portrays the demeanor of the Parisian Bourgeoisie; furthermore, the use of the urban milieu as the focal point in the novel and the painting reflects the modern nature of both works.

Preparing for her evening party, Clarissa Dalloway wanders through the streets of London, observing her surroundings and reminiscing about her personal life. Clarissa Dalloway loves life, people, and parties....

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