Places Discussed

(Critical Guide to Settings and Places in Literature)


*London. Great Britain’s capital city serves as a contrast to Santa Marina, which is represented by its “primitiveness.” The novel opens as Helen and Ridley Ambrose hurry along the Embankment, a walkway along the River Thames, in order to board a ship to Santa Marina. The Thames symbolizes the strength of British commerce, culture, and colonization. Also mentioned in the novel are Richmond, a comfortable suburb south of London, where Rachel lives with her aunts, and Bloomsbury, a London neighborhood characterized by the intellectuals and bohemians who live there.


Euphrosyne (yew-FROH-seen). Ship owned by Willoughby Vinrace on which Rachel and others travel to Santa Marina. On this ship Rachel is expected to function as hostess for her father, signaling the beginning of her feminine education. The characters on the Euphrosyne form a microcosm of English society, which includes the servants, the middle class (Ambroses), the political elite (the Dalloways), and an eccentric scholar (Pepper). These types are also found among the English tourists at the Santa Marina hotel and together they represent an idealization of England as culturally sophisticated. On the ship the travelers discuss cultural and political activities in London. For instance, the sea reminds them of the British Royal Navy, a symbol of patriotism in post-colonial Great Britain. The voyage is also reminiscent of...

(The entire section is 598 words.)