Social Concerns / Themes
The events of Mrs. Dalloway take place on a single day in June in central London where Clarissa Dalloway, the wife of Richard Dalloway, MP, sets off to buy flowers for a party that she is hosting in the evening. Some critics have argued that the novel is a sharp and critical examination of the governing social milieu at the turning point of its power, and of people's ability to deal with change, be it change of life, changes from war to peace, change of class or change of family life. Although the novel was initially accused by some critics of triviality, it was well received on the whole and sold well. Over time, Mrs. Dalloway has become one of Woolf's texts that is the most frequently discussed by students and critics because it depicts a richly textured impressionistic canvas of the social life, as well as describing the mysterious path of change which human relationships and personalities take over the passage of time.
Mrs. Dalloway is also distinctive for its portrait of a society woman which manages to be both fascinating and alarming in its scope, as well as Woolf's genuine concern with the life cycle of one generation of women as it is about to repeat itself in another generation: in this case, Clarissa who is past the end of her childbearing years at the age of fifty-two, and her daughter Elizabeth, who stands on the threshold of her eighteenth birthday. Each of the women in the novel represent one of the decades in a woman's...
(The entire section is 444 words.)