“Such are the visions which ceaselessly float up, pace beside, put their faces in front of, the actual thing; often overpowering the solitary traveler and taking away from him the sense of the earth, the wish to return, and giving him for substitute a general peace, as if (so he thinks as he advances down the forest ride) all this fever of living were simplicity itself; and myriads of things merged in one thing; and this figure, made of sky and branches as it is, had risen from the troubled sea (he is elderly, past fifty now) as a shape might be sucked up out of the waves to shower down from her magnificent hands compassion, comprehension, absolution.” (56)
Woolf, Virginia. Mrs. Dalloway. New York: Harcourt, Inc. 1925. Print. p.56
There is both a sense of loneliness in how we are shown Peter here, as well as a sense of peace. This acceptance and peace derived from loneliness is something that I think resonates with multiple characters throughout the novel.
“Far was Italy and the white houses and the room where her sisters sat making hats, and the streets crowded every evening with people walking, laughing out loud, not half alive like people here, huddled up in Bath chairs, looking at a few ugly flowers stuck in pots!
‘For you should see the Milan gardens,’ she said aloud. But to whom?
There was nobody. Her words faded” (23).
I think that this passage conveys the feelings of homesickness and isolation really well. It is terrible to feel like there is nobody who you can talk to, who would want to listen to you, and that your words mean nothing to anyone and disappear.
Woolf, Virginia. Mrs. Dalloway. San Diego: Harcourt, 1925. Print.
“A distaste for everything that had happened to him in the war set in because of the lies he had told. All of the times that had been able to make him feel cool and clear inside himself when he thought of them; the times so long back when he had done the one thing, the only thing for a man to do, easily and naturally, when he might have done something else, now lost their cool, valuable quality and then were lost themselves.”
Hemingway, Ernest. “Soldier’s Home.” In Our Time. New York: Scribner Paperback Fiction, 2003. 69-70. Print.
I can’t relate to Krebs’ war experiences, but I feel a lot of sadness for Krebs because he can’t find anyone who understands his experience.
“But the wilderness had found him out early, and had taken on him a terrible vengeance for the fantastic invasion. I think it had whispered to him things about himself which he did not know, things he had no conception of till he took counsel with this great solitude – and the whisper had proved irresistibly fascinating. It echoed loudly within him because he was hollow at the core.”
Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness and Other Tales. Oxford University Press, New York, 2002, p164.
It’s interesting to see that Marlow’s thought is that wilderness could only have a negative effect on Kurtz’s mind. He also hints to the fact that Kurtz might not have possessed a great soul, even before encountering the wilderness and therefore that’s why it was possible for him to go mad.