Last Updated on April 5, 2023, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 207
Startled awake and distracted by the phrase “the death of the soul” that has consumed his mind, Peter stares out at Regent’s Park. While asleep, he had dreamed of Bourton and Clarissa, lingering in the love he once felt for her. The phrase he uttered upon waking conjured memories of the class difference that prevented their marriage and caused a rift between him and their shared friends, and he hazily recalls Clarissa’s friendship with Sally.
Less groggy now, Peter’s mind transitions to thoughts of Richard Dalloway, the man he had long—and correctly—believed Clarissa would choose to marry over him. He recalls the pain he felt when he learned of their marriage: the emotion was overwhelming, and he does not recall any details about the subsequent days, as all he remembers is the feeling of complete misery. Even now, Peter’s experiences of joy are tinged, overshadowed by the memory of Clarissa and her marriage to Richard.
Peter recalls with difficulty the day he faced Clarissa in the gardens at Bourton and asked her for the truth. Although the details of this conversation are obscured, it is obvious that Peter was distraught at Clarissa’s rejection, which she delivered coldly and without emotion.