Mrs. Dalloway

Concept of life as a constant perciving and being percived

on the basis of Mrs. Dalloway (only first part - going to buy the flowers).

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I think the flowers are a powerful symbol of how she wants to be perceived. Clarissa wants it to look like she actually does something and is percieved as independent. Woolf begins the novel in her typical fashion, symbolically and methodically. We meet Clarissa in the first sentence, in a proclamation of independence. She will get the flowers because Lucy has work to do. The proclamation is thus tinged with a sense of irony because though Clarissa has chosen to handle the burden of work herself, the work only consists of buying flowers. The irony inherent in the entire text will be fleshed out as we continue but, the very first sentences hint at the underlying theme of social commentary which Woolf instilled in order to illustrate the superficiality of the members of Mrs. Dalloway's social circle.