Lady Bruton’s fascination with “Emigration” is depicted as an outlet for her pride. How does Woolf present social causes such as this? Are we meant to empathize with her cause?
As with Bradshaw’s “Conversion,” Richard’s thoughts of restructuring society and elevating the downtrodden, and Hugh’s mission to rid the parks of immorality, Bruton’s obsession with emigration is representative of a tendency among Woolf’s upper-class characters to cling to abstract, altruistic concepts as a way of reconciling their own privilege. Instead of engaging with the homeless people he passes on the street, Richard can simply comfort himself by thinking of his general policy missions....
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