“The millions lamented; for ages they had sorrowed. He would turn round, he would tell them in a few moments, only a few moments more, of this relief, of this joy, of this astonishing revelation—”

Woolf, Virginia. Mrs. Dalloway (p. 36). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Kindle Edition.

The world that Septimus lives in is not uncommon for many who have experienced

PTSD. The above quote is an excerpt of an hallucination in which Septimus thinks he is seeing a fellow soldier who died with him in war. This shows the hold that experiences have on mental status and well-being. Because of his experiences, he is but a shadow of a man that he once was. His wife cannot break through to him and even simple dayto day sounds and sights bring him back to a time he wishes to not relive.

This is the issue. During this era–a post WWI England–people are not quite recovered from “The Great War”. People are trying their best to forget about the trauma that they suffered, but those who were on the frontlines have the most difficult time dealing with “shell shock”. There is no real mental diagnosis that can appropriately treat this, and those left on the outside have no way to empathize. Here is Lucrezia’s problem. She feels so lonely and frustrated by her husband’s condition, but it is difficult to sympathize with her in light of what her husband suffers.

Categories: Mrs. Dalloway


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