How does Septimus' death affect Clarissa and Lucrezia in "Mrs. Dalloway"?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Rezia's reaction to her husband's death is seemingly one of acceptance. She is not described as having much of a reaction at all, which makes sense considering all the times she has witnessed difficult and confusing behaviors in Septimus. As well, both Rezia and Septimus were disappointed by Dr. Bradshaw's recommendation that Septimus be institutionalized and that they be separated, so perhaps she felt that Septimus was forced into a corner and saw no way out but suicide.

Clarissa's reaction to Septimus's suicide is more complicated. At first, she resents that the Bradshaws have even mentioned his death at her party, feeling that suicide is an unfit topic for her social event. Then, Clarissa acknowledges her own refusal to feel pity for the man she does not know, who was a patient of Dr. Bradshaw's whom she has never met. Later, however, she quotes Shakespeare's Cymbeline in response to her ruminations about the suicide, saying "Fear no more the heat o’ the sun" as a way to express her...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 597 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team