Woolf tells us in the introduction to the 1928 eidtion
of her book that Septimus is intended to be the double of Mrs.
Dalloway. Indeed, she first thought that he might live while
Clarissa would die. As a result, many critics understand his death
to be a substitute for Clarissa, for if he dies for his war
experience (especially the death of his friend) and his inablility
to adjust to life, she is able to live, to adjust to the
confinements of her married life. Clarissa's meditation on
Septimus's death at her party indicates this intuitive closeness
she feels to a man she has never known. "Death was defiance,"
she tells herself. "Death was an attempt to communicate. . .
. Had he plunged holding his treasure?" "What a plunge"
begins Mrs.Dalloway, and the treasure she holds was her moment when
Sally Seton kissed her. Septimus shared a similar close
relationship with his friend who died at the front. Clarissa
also says at her party, "She felt somehow very lke him....she
felt glad that he had done it; thrown it away. . . . He made her
feel the beauty."