Woolf through Peter Walsh

“… there was design, art, everywhere; a change of some sort had undoubtedly taken place.  What did the young people think about?  Peter Walsh asked himself.  Those five years — 1918 to 1923 — had been, he suspected, somehow very important.  People looked different.  Newspapers seemed different.” (71).

It’s important to pay attention to the time period mentioned here.  In 1918, World War I ends, and Woolf is 36 years old, and questioning post-war youth.  In 1922 she has an affair with another woman, Vita Sackville-West.  It’s almost obvious that Peter Walsh’s fear of romantic commitment stems from Woolf’s personal life, and possibly an outlet for pent up frustration.

Woolf, Virginia.  Mrs. Dalloway. San Diego: Harcourt, 1925.