Mrs. Dalloway

Virginia Woolf's Use of Symbolism in Mrs. Dalloway College

Virginia Woolf, 20th century English novelist, successfully wrote and developed her stories with some of the most unique writing styles of the time. Through one of her most famous novels, Mrs. Dalloway, Woolf takes the use of symbolism beyond the usual. Frequently, symbolism is used to enhance or add to a story where as Woolf, on the other hand, utilizes symbolism at the forefront of character development. One of the most unique aspects is her constant use of nature as a symbol. Woolf’s symbolic use of flowers, water and trees play a key role in characterization of Clarissa Dalloway, standing as one of the most dynamic figures throughout the novel. These forms of symbolic nature allow the reader to shape a deeper meaning behind the character of Mrs. Dalloway.

Woolf opens her novel with “Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself” (Woolf 3). Right from the start we have already developed Clarissa as a woman who strives for a sense of independence. As Clarissa enters the shop the descriptive paragraphs of flowers have already begun. The reader begins to develop her character’s strong and meaningful connection to the flowers that surround her. We get the sense that they give Clarissa a sweet escape from the reality of...

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