Quotations About Clarissa's Relationship to Peter and Septimus

"She had the oddest sense of being her self invisible, unseen; unknown; there being no more marrying, no more having children now, but only this astonishing and rather solemn progress with the rest of them, up Bond Street, this being Mrs. Dalloway; not even Clarissa any more; this being Mrs. Richard Dalloway." (MD 10-11)

As the novel opens, the reader is acutely aware of the formality, of the decorum, of her marriage to Richard. He completes who she is. People are more concerned with identifying her as his wife, rather than acknowledging her as an individual.

"She felt that she had been given a present, wrapped up, and told just to keep it, not to look at it-a diamond, something infinitely precious, wrapped up, which, as they walked she uncovered, or the radiance burnt through, the revelation, the religious feeling!" (MD 35)

In Clarissa Dalloway’s realization of her feelings for Sally, she is not confused by her reaction to Sally’s openness.

"And Clarissa had leant forward, taken his hand, drawn him to her, kissed him,-actually had felt his face on hers before she could down the brandishing of silver flashing-plumes like pampas grass in a tropic gale in her breast, which, subsiding, left her holding his hand, patting his knees as she sat back extraordinarily at her ease with him and light-hearted, all in a clap it came over her, If I had married him, this gaiety would have been mine all day!"(     )

Peter is painfully aware that Clarissa has tremendous power and influence over him, and Clarissa reminisces, for a moment, how animated her life would have been if she had married Peter.

"The compensation of growing old, Peter Walsh thought, coming out of Regent’s park, and holding his hat in his hand, was simply this; that the passions remain as strong as ever, but one has gained-at last!-the power of taking hold of experience, of turning it round, slowly, in the light." (MD 79)

Peter felt the pulse of life very deeply and infinitely; it was this quality that drew Clarissa to him in the first place. Peter internalizes things. He is extremely introspective, always looking for deeper meanings. Superficiality really doesn’t exist in his persona, or in his thoughts.

"What could she be thinking? Every man fell in love with her, and she was really awfully bored. For it was beginning. Her mother could see that-the compliments were beginning." (MD 135)

Elizabeth finds the male presence exceedingly dull. She begins her initiation into the world of womanhood, and she is already very disillusioned and disinterested when it comes to the necessity of men.


"The tears would run down his cheeks, which was to her the most dreadful thing of all, to see a man like Septimus, who had fought, who was brave, crying." (MD 141)

Septimus is perceived as weak and feminine because he is unafraid to cry, to show his emotions. Many people, including his wife and the doctors, dismiss his grief and sorrow as irrational. No one is willing to allow or accept his despair resulting from his shocking war experiences.

"Yes, it would always make her happy to see that hat. He had become himself then, he had laughed then. They had been alone together. Always she would like that hat." (MD 144)

Lucrezia knows that Septimus’s illness is worsening. She takes some comfort in her knowledge of that instance, that moment of time and space, in which they were happy, as they sat and created Mrs. Peter’s hat.

"So he was in their power! Holmes and Bradshaw were on him! The brute with the red nostrils was snuffing into every secret place!" (MD147)

Septimus has clearly lost all rationale and sense of logical thought. He is delusionary, and his disturbing visions seem to overcome him. His descent into the fathomless pit of despair is epitomized by this internal statement.

"Lolloping on the waves and braiding her tresses, she seemed, having that gift still; to be; to exist; to sum it all up in the moment as she passed; turned, caught her scarf in some other woman’s dress, unhitched it, laughed, all with the most perfect ease and air of a creature floating in its element." (MD 174)

These words, spoken by Peter Walsh, prove that he has never truly stopped caring for Clarissa, and he knows she can capture the audience, that is, her guests. Although she is no longer a young woman, he knows she still has tremendous power over him, and she can still affect him very deeply.


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