“Away and away the aeroplane shot, till it was nothing but a bright spark; an aspiration; a concentration; a symbol […] of man’s soul; of his determination, […] sweeping round the cedar tree, to get outside his body, beyond his house, by means of thought, Einstein, speculation, mathematics, the Mendelian theory – away the aeroplane shot.” (28)
Woolf, Virginia. Mrs. Dalloway. New York: Harcourt, Inc. 1925. Print.
The widening of subject as the aeroplane goes further and further away is a clue to the way we ought to view the novel – the seemingly mundane widening out to encompass the human condition.
“…that Sir William was master of his own actions, which the patient was not. There some weakly broke down; sobbed, submitted; others, inspired by Heaven knows what intemperate madness, called Sir William to his face a damnable humbug; questioned, even more impiously, life itself. Why live? they demanded. Sir William replied that life was good. Certianly Lady Bradshaw in ostrich feathers hung over the mantelpiece, and as for his income it was quite twelve thousand a year. But to us, they protested, life has given no such bounty. He acquiesced. They lacked a sense of proportion. And perhaps after all, there is no God? He shrugged his shoulders. In short, this living or not living is an affair of our own? But they were mistaken” (Woolfe 101).
I think this is a daily issue people deal with. Those that struggle greatly in life tend to question it and it’s necessity while those that have it a bit easier tend to find bliss in life. It’s not that they haven’t seen pain; everyone goes through pain. However some people just go through a deeper pain than others and so they don’t find life as blissful.
Woolf, Virginia. Mrs. Dalloway. San Diego: Harcourt, 1981. Print.
“Gently the yellow curtain with all the birds of Paradise blew out and it seemed as if there were a flight of wings into the room, right out and then sucked back. (For the windows were open.)”
Woolf, V. (1925). Mrs. Dalloway. New York: Harcourt, Brace and Co. p.164
The narration fades in and out of consciousness to focus on different aspects of what is gong on. A detail so minute as flowers flying in the wind is enhanced into focus to show the everyday lives of people in a time where much larger events are going on around the world.This relates to Woolf’s unit of analysis of the individual as being modern.