Dalloway, especially on the idea of modernism which can be defined as new thought, art, and culture. Specifically Woolf focuses on how the new technologies brought about because of modernism and the industrial revolution differ from the natural environment and all pure things found in it. In the book Mrs. Dalloway, Woolf argues that the natural world is more important than modernism and new technologies. Throughout the book, Woolf shows how distracting technology can be through the interactions her characters have with many different forms of it. In her article “Modern Transportation and Vitalism in Mrs.
Dalloway”, Cheryl Volzer argues that the modern world the characters from the book live in is disruptive and only nature brings peace back to them. She also argues that the modern technologies experienced by the characters cause them to lose emotions and feelings. Volzer points out that very often it is a car, clock chime, or other piece of machinery that “not only hinders Clarissa’s path, but also discontinues her sensory driven memories of love. The novel suggests that modernity… attempts and succeeds in terminating thoughts rooted in emotion and feeling” (2).
While I agree all of the modern objects are very distracting for the characters in the novel, and that it is only when they are in some way connected with nature that they are more at peace; however, I disagree with her thought that the modern technology destroys all emotion, because of the scene in which many people on the street outside of the flower shop view “a face of the very greatest importance against the dove grey upholstery, before a male hand drew the blind and there was nothing to be seen” (14).
In the introduction of K. Ragan's book, "Fearless Girls, Wise Women And Beloved Sisters" (1998), she says that her starting point was that she used to get very angry when she was telling stories to her daughter, because the majority of the characters in the stories were men. Actually, she noticed that over 90 percent of the characters were male and that all major female characters were negative. ...
This face which so many people believe to be of a famous and important person, causes the citizens who see it to feel pride for England and its achievements, and to generally feel nationalistic. Another example in the novel where a modern object causes multiple characters to become emotional is when Big Ben chimes, here Clarissa is thinking about the effects of the ringing bells, “a particular hush, or solemnity; an indescribably pause; a suspense” (4).
This shows that another piece of machinery was capable of evoking emotion from the characters in the book.
Woolf also shows how much more significant nature is in the world of Mrs. Dalloway through all of the metaphors she uses comparing people to animals and how her characters often think about nature. In the journal entry, ““Scissors and Silks,” “Flowers and Trees,” and “Geraniums Ruined by the War”: Virginia Woolf’s Ecological Critique of Science in Mrs. Dalloway” written by Justyna Kostkowska, Kostkowska argues that, “By referring to human experience in natural terms, [Woolf] reinforces the inseparability of nature and culture, and shows their mutuality” (187).
This argument becomes more apparent throughout the book when Woolf compares almost every character to something in nature as Kostkowska touches on later in her article, “An overwhelming majority of characters are repeatedly described in floral or animal terms: Clarissa is “perched” bird-like, “a touch of the bird about her, of the jay, blue-green, vivacious” (4); Elizabeth is “like a poplar, [. . . ] like a river, [. . . like a hyacinth” (188); Septimus is “beak-nosed” (14); Peter is “hawklike” (164); Septimus sees Rezia as a “flowering tree” (148), and as a “little hen” (149); Sally is “all light, glowing, like some bird or air ball that has flown in” (35).
Even Dr. Bradshaw is portrayed as a bird of prey as he “swoops” and “devours” (188).
I completely agree with Kostkowska’s argument that Woolf compares human life to nature to prove how inseparable they are. But something Kostkowska didn’t talk about that I believe proves nature and the characters in Mrs.
Being a very successful psychologist of human nature and character, David G. Myers was hailed by many critics and readers by profound work he has done in The Pursuit of Happiness: Discovering the Pathway to Fulfillment, Well-Being, and Enduring Personal Joy. Myers presented a solid professional psychological research, analyzing different information from various surveys and studies covering a ...
Dalloway are always connected is; many of the characters think in terms of nature. One good example is Rezia, who, while at the park with Septimus, thinks she is “like a bird sheltering under the thin hollow of a leaf, who blinks at the sun when the leaf moves; starts at the crack of a dry twig” (65).
This passage where Rezia thinks of herself as a bird struggling to survive in the wild mirrors how she feels about Septimus; uncertain of his mental state of mind, scared about how their relationship is going to work out, and frustrated with how he acts.
Thinking of herself as a bird shows readers that nature is a large and important part of Rezia’s life especially during this time of need. Another place in the book where a character uses nature to make comparisons is when Peter starts thinking about human souls and how a soul, “fish-like inhabits deep seas and plies among obscurities threading her way between the boles of giant weeds, over sun-flickered spaces and on and on into gloom, cold, deep, inscrutable; suddenly she shoots to the surface and sports on the wind wrinkled waves; that is, has a positive need to brush, scrape, kindle herself, gossiping” (161).
This thought shows how even the very essence of human beings is linked to nature. The only reason Woolf would have added so many ideas about how nature is connected to humans in every way, would be to show how much more important nature is to her than the modern society that she lived in. Nature was more important than modernism and new technology to Woolf, possibly because she could see how negatively the industrial revolution had affected the environment, and because people were becoming less and less in touch with their natural surroundings as they were swept up in the rush of city life.
When Woolf wrote Mrs. Dalloway not many people understood this theme of nature she included in her paper. Now that humans are working to fix the damage to the environment that was started during the Industrial Revolution, people are beginning to appreciate more Woolf’s message that nature and all of its constant splendors are much more vital for humans than the relentless flow of new technologies. Works Cited Cheryl. “Modern Transportation and Vitalism in Mrs. Dalloway. ” San Juan Unified School District. N. p. , 16 Nov. 2009. Web. 6 May 2013. http://www. sanjuan. du/webpages/rvolzer/files/moderntransportation. pdf. Kostkowska, Justyna. ““Scissors and Silks,” “Flowers and Trees,” and “Geraniums Ruined by the War”: Virginia Woolf’s Ecological Critique of Science in Mrs. Dalloway. ” “Women’s Studies 33. 2 (2004): 183-98. Academic Search Elite. Taylor & Francis LTD. , May 2004. Web. 9 May 2013. <http://web. ebscohost. com/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer? sid=419e5d71-988a-4bd2-b44b-1820b3b3997d%40sessionmgr112&vid=3&hid=118>. Woolf, Virginia. Mrs. Dalloway. 1925. New York: Harcourt, Brace and Co. 1981. Print.
Nature versus Nurture The idea of whether human behavior is determined by genetics or by environment is an ongoing debate. Biologists and social scientists have different views. The biologists believe that genes determine human behavior, and on the other hand social scientists believe that we are our own creation and we are free from the chains of biology. During a debate in the 1970 s, someone ...