Tag Archives: postwar

Septimus and Lucrezia: Emotional Inequality

“And it was cowardly for a man to say he would kill himself, but Septimus had fought; he was brave; he was not Septimus now. She put on her lace collar. She put on her new hat and he never noticed; and he was happy without her. Nothing could make her happy without him! Nothing! He was selfish. So men are. For he was not ill. Dr. Holmes said there was nothing the matter with him. She spread her hand before her. Look! Her wedding ring slipped- she had grown so thin. It was she who suffered- but she had nobody to tell.”

Woolf, Virginia. Mrs. Dalloway. New York: Harcourt, Inc. 1925. Print. p.23.

This passage demonstrates the disconnect from prewar life that a veteran faces postwar, and the stress this disconnect puts on the family of the veteran. The free indirect discourse of Lucrezia, “Nothing could make her happy without him! Nothing!”, albeit melodramatic sounding is a good juxtaposition to the emotional numbness that Septimus is feeling postwar.