What do the flowers in Mrs Dalloway  represent?

Expert Answers info

David Morrison eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2017

write9,924 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Law and Politics

For Clarissa Dalloway, flowers primarily represent the joy and beauty of life. They also have a more conventional meaning, as they are associated with love and femininity. In relation to the latter, it's notable that Sally's rough handling of flowers isn't just an attack on a thing of beauty, it's decidedly unfeminine:

Sally went out, picked hollyhocks, dahlias – all sorts of flowers that had never been seen together – cut their heads off, and made them swim on the top of water in bowls. The effect was extraordinary – coming in to dinner in the sunset. (Of course Aunt Helena thought it wicked to treat flowers like that.)

There is clearly a generational gap in Aunt Helena's and Sally's respective attitudes towards femininity. But Sally isn't really unfeminine at all; she simply expresses her femininity more unconventionally than other women. An example of this comes when she plants a kiss on Clarissa, a kiss that lingers long in her memory. This is Sally's unique way of choosing a...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 710 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

M.P. Ossa, M.A. eNotes educator | Certified Educator

briefcaseCollege Lecturer, ESL/TEFL Instructor

bookM.A. from Chapman University


calendarEducator since 2008

write5,680 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and Business

check Approved by eNotes Editorial