Analysis Of Craft Mrs Dalloway Essay

Submitted By Angelaucci
Words: 747
Pages: 3

Angela Ucci
October 17th, 2013
Intermediate Fiction
Professor Tracey Levine
Analysis of Craft: Mrs. Dalloway Time is arguably the single most central theme in this novel. After all, it was written in a stream of consciousness narrative, and I can't help but think that Virginia Woolf wrote the novel this way on purpose - to relate to the overall concept of the story and life itself - not simply because it was an original technique. After all, time is always running, and so is the stream of consciousness perspective. Any other type of narration would have been incapable of truly capturing the essence of time so strikingly. The punctuation is not always precise, nor is the form, yet doesn't the same hold true for life? Life - our existence - is centered around imperfections and inconsistencies, much like the "flip-flop" language in Mrs. Dalloway. As human beings, we have a false sense of time. Admittedly, we sometimes even think of the passage of time as trivial - we sort of sit back and think "oh, I have tomorrow," and simply ignore the fact that time is not necessarily a given for us. We have no control over time, time has control over us, and in the novel, time is controlled by Big Ben. Imagine living in a place where there is an actual, tangible reminder of the passage of time. It is the linear sense of time, the finite reminder that the physical clock never stops ticking, similarly to the character's internal clocks. Indeed, though big Ben represents time - time striking, predetermined time - the stream of consciousness represents the flow of thoughts, from ten years ago to today to ten years from now in a matter of seconds, it's continuous. This is the difference between how time really operates, and how we perceive it. Big Ben is the reality check the characters, forcing the attention of the character's back into the present moment. The human condition knows no boundaries of time, it seems, so this clock is the reminder they need, despite the fact they may not necessarily want it. Every time the clock strikes there's internal dialogue that goes on that brings the character into the moment, interrupting any train of thought that was trailing into the past. For example, with Clarissa, it's like once Big Ben goes off, then the voice switches into her head: "Oh Jesus Christ, there's another hour off my life." Indeed, the clock reminds the reader that time moves forward, and that the characters are trapped in the past and in their memories - it reminds Clarissa she's running out of time with her life (also until her party starts). She knows she's accomplished things and really the only thing left for her is death. Big Ben is significant of the old cliché "time runs out for all of