What is the significance of Clarissa's party in Mrs. Dalloway?

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The party is significant because, when Clarissa was young, she rejected Peter Walsh's romantic overtures, and Peter insulted her by suggesting she was best suited to acting as a hostess. At the time, Clarissa was angry and disappointed in this assessment of her character, but the current party is evidence of Peter's astute insight into her personality. Clarissa is indeed very good at hosting gatherings, and the amount of time and energy she spends thinking about the details of her party throughout the novel represents how important it is to her.

Although the party is significant to the reader's understanding of Clarissa's past relationship with Peter Walsh, it is also important to the reader's understanding of Clarissa's unrealized dreams. At the time of the party, she is recovering from an illness, and she feels her age. When her thoughts drift to memories of her younger self, she remembers her ambitions and her high-minded goals. These pursuits stand in stark contrast to the frivolous...

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