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Female Characterization In Mrs Dalloway And To The Lighthouse By Virginia Woolf

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In twentieth century women were still being confined to a limited intellectual area. Being a good housewife was the best role considered for the women. Virginia Woolf as a writer appears as a considerable personality who exposes the unspeakable world of women. In her literary studies she depicts not only the external life of women but portrays the inner thought that they face into the mind. Virginia Wolf almost in her all books put her women figure to be in a moral dilemma between what is right and what she desires.

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She creates some literary female character based on her and real women who express the whole picture of the world of the women. Here major novel likes Mrs Dalloway and to the lighthouse in which she characterises various female figure to outline the inner psychology of women the character Clarissa in Mrs Dalloway and Sally Seton and To the Lighthouse Mrs. Ramsay who does not only display the existence of women but depicts of feelings, thoughts and emotions that the female inner world. To expose the inner of mind, Woolf tries to apply the method of narration, steam of consciousness. The ratification of this narrative technique helps to the enters female psychology in a sudden thought it connect the inter disjoint.

Both of the novels portrayed various female character. one of them considers major and minor. In Mrs Dalloway the major female character are Clarissa, sally Seton and Doris kill man. And To the Lighthouse the major female character are Mrs Ramsay and Lilly.


The character of Clarissa in Mrs Dalloway is beautifully characterised. The title of the novel is the initial indicator about a housewife for a woman. As Clarissa gets ready for the party she will celebrate that evening. We are privy to her meandering thoughts. She is vivid and looks a great deal about what people imagine of her but she is also self-meditative. She often asks life real purpose. Forbes claims that Mrs Dalloway tries to equate the performance of this role with her identity. But her attempts to use the role as a substitute. for the fixed essentially the Victorian sense of self she covets result in emptiness. A back of fulfilment and ironically virtually no self at all. Her identity is fixed to insignificant with her role is a mark of rising from the confirmed rules.

Clarissa Dalloway struggles constantly to balance her life. her world stands on glittering surfaces. for example fire fashion parties and society but as she turns from that earth she discovers beneath those surfaces to find depth meaning Clarissa her a tendency toward apperception that sends her a deep strengths for emotion. Always she is anxious for appearances and abides by tightly. She never exposes her feelings to anyone. She conducts a fixed steam of communal cheap and action to repose her soul safely. Successively overlaying the past the present, Clarissa faces to reunite herself to present time. In the novel she regards aged, even as she enacts life maintaining activities, such as purchasing flowers. Clarissa never takes decisions that have something suspicion, basically marrying Richard instead of peter wash. she understands that she will not comfortable with peter after managed. Then at same time she crave up her passion for the safety of an higher life. Clarissa realises the oppressive forces in life, and she grants the life she has and she will get.

Sally Seton

Another female character, a bosom of Clarissa in childhood. sally exists only as a figure in Clarissa’s memory for most of the novel. Sally and Clarissa sensually attracted. After long days when she presents at Clarissa’s party, she is aged about even inmate. sally takes Clarissa first when she looks on her blessings. Sally and Clarissa thought to reconstruct the world together. now both are married. Sally has altered and kept silent. Both of them are yielding to the power of British society, but sally stays more space than Clarissa does. Sally behaves like male. Sally Seton represents the male aspects. The matter that is she often rejected her social bounding and is performed. What she thinks right for her one moment is; ‘She forget her sponge and Ran along the passage naked Indeed she did shock people’. She was not characterized as a pure woman. Though Clarissa had romanticism for Sally, she never approached sally but sally did and kissed her.

Doris Killman

Clarissa’s daughter Elizabeth’s teacher is Doris Killman. She has graduated in history and was angry at her teaching job because of the anti-portion of German. Her age is over forty and puts on ungracious mackintosh coat because she never pleased. Killman dislikes Clarissa though she adores Elizabeth. Much of the time she compares herself with Mrs Dalloway. She thinks that those belongings that Clarissa has she does not have. Though it does not reveal immediately but finds indirectly though both her activities and her seeing. The readers understand what is in their internal world. Mrs Killman’s gruesomeness is her illness. She supposes that Elizabeth’s mother annoy her and all time questions herself about her conditions and face that she has. She has lost her job because of was and she has classified from classification appearance and social person. She has dominated by her faith and her appearance that she tries to use on Elizabeth. In guise of a religious she spoils it, through some activities like hypocrisy, disinclination, passion. She always finds a sinful for her present condition.

Lucrezia Smith

Lucrezia is an Italian woman who has a constant tense about her husband’s disease. She attempts unsuccessfully to help Septimus and she feels helpless and unhappy. Lucrezia continuously the past when both felt free and secure. She makes hats and carefully sews them and the hat becomes an element which defines her character and moods. It is the only garment known of Lucrezia’s attire revealed by the narrator to the reader, and explains her relationship with her husband in different moments of the novel. For example, when both are in the park and she goes to the fountain, we read: “She put on her new hat and he never noticed; and he was happy without her. Nothing could make her happy without him! Nothing! ”. Lucrezia is sad and she suffers a lot because of her husband’s situation. Suffering shell-shock effects, Septimus goes through his own hell and Lucrezia endures the situation painfully. In this context, the hat represents the happiness of her past. Her husband liked her hats and at present he does not even notice them. She feels invisible and unable to relieve him from his suffering and her hat becomes her refuge, the only physical memory of the happy past life of the couple.

Just before Septimus’ suicide, both find a magic, secure moment together. It takes place while she is sewing a hat. Their dialogue over the hat brings them together and Lucrezia feels her husband’s complicity. The hat brings the happy past back and she experiences the lost happiness, as Septimus is momentarily not lost in his deep, tormented thoughts: ‘It’s too small for Mrs. Peters, ‘ said Septimus. For the first time for days he was speaking as he used to do! He took it out of her hands. He said it was an organ grinder’s monkey’s hat. How it rejoiced her, that! Not for weeks had they laughed like this together, poking fun like married people. Septimus’s transient and evanescent connection with his wife is reached through observations on the hat, which represents their shared feelings of love and happiness. It brings Lucrezia’s inner strength to believe in a strong relation that existed and that will later let her understand her husband’s suicide. As Lucrezia, Septimus has tried to reach past memories to feel secure and fight with his dramatic present. It is very interesting to point to another female garment in those memories. That one is related to Miss Isabel Pole, a girlfriend Septimus had before the war: “He thought her beautiful, believed her impeccably wise; dreamed of her, wrote poems to her, which, ignoring the subject, she corrected in red ink; he saw her, one summer evening, walking in a green dress in a square”. In his memories about Pole, Septimus recalls her dress, as part of a feeling of love and security that he needs when he selects positive aspects from the past.

Elizabeth Dalloway

Elizabeth is the youngest female character in the novel, an elegant girl who faces the conflict established between her mother and Miss Kilman. She appreciates both of them and feels uncomfortable with their continuous confrontations along the novel. Despite the fact that Elizabeth belongs to the high society, as her mother, her youth makes her a free character, away from the burden of class status that affect both Clarissa and Miss Kilman. She succeeds in getting away from the influence of both women. Elizabeth is a clever girl and learns how to survive within the constraints of a conservative society. She respects Miss Kilman and accepts to go with her to the Stores, but she also knows that she needs to go back to attend her mother’s party. She loves her mother and knows that the party is very important for her. In the party, she wears a pink dress. This garment shows the reader that she follows her mother’s norms of elegance and distinction. She consciously separates from Miss Kilman’s way of wearing clothes, and takes care of her aspect. Elizabeth’s reconciliation with her mother through her pink dress is obviously detected by Clarissa herself, as the narrator describes: “She couldn’t take her eyes off her; in her pink dress, wearing the necklace Mrs Dalloway had given her”. Following her mother’s style, wearing an elegant dress and the necklace that Clarissa had given her, Elizabeth adopts her mother’s elegance and openly shows her love for her. Elizabeth uses the dress to avoid the loss of her mother and with it she positions herself in her side, away from Miss Kilman’s influence. Nevertheless, the pink colour of her dress also establishes some distance with her own mother, reaveal;ing the spirit of freedom and youth that keeps her away from maternal dominion.

Mrs Ramsay

Mrs Ramsay is one of the major character by Woolf who characterises Mrs Ramsay as beautiful, charming and nurturing. she at ease keeps her husband family together just like holds closely social context by her charisma. in this novel to the lighthouse she remains on the context and manage the greets of others and lily re her memories of Mrs Ramsay and commits peace with her ghost. She frequently portrays on the nature of time and human experience.

Mrs Ramsay can create feelings based on the situation. Mrs Ramsay was the mother of eight children, still she looks beautiful. In To the Lighthouse there are appreciations of her looks and her appeal lies in her physical charm. Woolf tells her how Mr Bankees feels about her charm while calling to her. He saw her at the end of the line, Greek blue eyed, straight. The graces assembling seemed to have Joined in meadows of asphodel toCompose that face. Her manners and well nature mixed with her extraordinary. Mrs Ramsay is also considered as a symbol of the female principle in life. It seems to be evident when one has intend into her mind. Woolf says: “Again she felt, as a fact withouthostility, the silently of man for it. She did not do it nobody would Do it”. Mrs Ramsay offers her protection and inspiration.

15 July 2020

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