Monday, November 2, 2009

Review: Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf


Virginia Woolf's well-known novel Mrs. Dalloway is without a doubt a classic of English literature. However, it has many characteristics not commonly associated with classics. It doesn't take ages to read. It doesn't distract the reader with superfluous distractions. Most importantly, as the book is read, one is irrevocably and achingly aware and understanding of the plights of a woman, out to buy the flowers herself.

This is exactly what the book is about, or it's plot at least. Mrs. Dalloway, an upper-class London socialite goes out to buy some flowers for her big ball that evening. On the way, she thinks about her life. About the things that already happened, as well as the things that might happen in the future. She remembers her old love, who she rejected simply because his passion brought out the worst in her. She thinks about her husband, her dull, reliable husband, who she feels grounds and protects her from her true self, the unimaginable horror she feels is lurking within. And finally, she is forced to think about a man just back from the war, a man she doesn't even know, but who seems to be able to open her eyes with a selfish, yet heroic act of despair.

The tortured soul of Virginia Woolf provides great source for the seemingly flawless, yet sadly disturbed title character. The stream of consciousness form of the book makes all these seemingly random scenes (yet, is anything in life truly random?) flow through the reader's mind like a dream. However, this dream does not tell of fairies and magical places. It deals with the reality and such things as wars and the effect they have on individuals, as well as on the collective consciousness, the choices one has to make in life, the difference between life and death, and the lengths one is willing to go just to find a piece of mind.

RATING: 5/5

7 comments:

Amanda said...

I've read this book twice and both times I'm sure much of it went completely over my head despite the fact that I loved it. Woolf was a genius.

Lisa said...

I have always wanted to read this. Great review, Nikola!

Vivienne said...

I have wanted to read this since reading The Hours, as it features parts of the book.

stacybuckeye said...

I've heard of this book, of course, but relly didn't know what it was about. Your review has me adding it to my wish lst!

Trisha said...

I really need to pick this book up. It's been staring at me from my TBR shelf for quite some time. Great review!

justicejenniferreads said...

Haven't heard much about this particular Virginia Wolf book, but you have definitely sparked my interest in it. Great review.

Jenny Girl said...

I tried one of Woolf's other books and was bored. Then I realized I should have read this one. Thank you for the wonderful review and recommendation.

I like your new background and template. Very easy on the eyes, and good job on the vlogs :)