Study Guide

Mrs. Dalloway

by Virginia Woolf

Mrs. Dalloway Essay - Critical Essays

Sample Essay Outlines

The following paper topics are based on the entire book. Following each topic is a thesis and a sample outline. Use these as a starting point for your paper.

Topic # 1
Pick three of the characters and summarize why they might be unhappy. Then compare your findings: What do these factors have in common? How do the characters respond to what bothers them?

Outline
I. Thesis Statement: Each of the main characters is unhappy about some aspect of his or her life. These subjects vary widely, yet are comparable.

II. Clarissa is unhappy about how she appears to others.
A. She feels that she is unattractive.
B. She feels unpopular.
C. She feels that her parties may be a shallow interest.
D. She lacks confidence.

III. Peter Walsh is unhappy about the choices he has made.
A. He loved Clarissa, but lost her.
B. He is in love with a married woman, which is complex.
C. He has not followed a straight course of career.
D. He feels that he has no foundation in life.

IV. Lucrezia Warren Smith is unhappy about her marriage.
A. She feels that Septimus does not want to get better.
B. She wants to have children.
C. She thinks about her life before she was married.
D. She feels abandoned and cut off from what she knows.

Topic #2
Pick a relationship between two characters and discuss it. How do these two characters know each other, and how has their history...

(The entire section is 624 words.)