Tag Archives: selective attention

Everyone is Looking, Too

“What are they looking at?” said Clarissa Dalloway to the maid who opened her door.”

Woolf, Virginia. Mrs. Dalloway. New York: Harcourt, 1925. Print. p.29

In the entirety of the previous pages, we are shown the dozens of people who look, whether it is the motorcar, Septimus and his wife, or the plane making letters that no one can agree upon. This statement from Clarissa, as a result, comes off rather curious because it implies that she might not be completely acknowledging how much she, herself, looks and pays attention to different events. Another way of viewing this is that there are many small events happening, but she is not consciously paying attention to them. It is as if she is moving thoughts around in her own mind and then suddenly realizes that other people are looking around, too.