Mrs. Dalloway Questions and Answers
by Virginia Woolf

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How does Virginia Woolf uses the narrative technique “stream of consciousness" in her novel Mrs. Dalloway?

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This pathbreaking novel is told entirely through stream of consciousness. In other words, there is no outside narrator setting up and describing the scene or telling us, as readers, what to think. As Woolf outlines in her essay "Mr. Bennet and Mrs. Brown" she rejects the Edwardian—and Victorian—narrator who provides a "normative" frame for a work and lots of descriptive embellishment that is supposed to stand in for "objectivity." Woolf, instead, wanted to capture the pure subjectivity of real, lived experience. As we go through our days, we don't have a "narrator" telling us what to think: we simply react to the raw experience of what we encounter as we process it inside our heads.

In Mrs. Dalloway , Woolf moves in and out of the heads of various characters. We see everything through the subjective eyes of whatever character whose thoughts and perceptions Woolf happens to be "downloading" at that moment. The experiences that molded these characters—and their memories as...

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