What can I include in an analysis of theme of memories in Mrs. Dalloway?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think that if you are assessing the role of memory in the Woolf work, you would have to engage into how the past filters into present and future.  The vision of consciousness that Woolf offers is one where there is not a clear demarcation of time.  When Woolf suggests that "All human relations have shifted," she might be articulating how our notion of consciousness has "shifted," as well.  Part of this would have to reside in how consciousness is constructed, with elements of our past, future, and even conditional filtering into the present.  This becomes something of vital importance.  Clarissa and other characters in the novel construct reality out of both their own pasts, projecting this into the future and into the present.  The past is not something absent.  Rather, Woolf argues that it plays a vital role in forming present and future identity.  It is here where memory is seen in its most important light.  To fully grasp its significance is something that Clarissa must reflect upon in the present, thereby changing it.  In  this, the conception of time offered is a fluid and dynamic one, showing that the past and memory is vital to the construction of consciousness.