recent draft: Critical Analysis


[read more=”Click here to Read More” less=”Read Less”] 

This essay will be about four qualities namely: personal responsibility and critical thinking. There will also be communication skills, and social responsibility. The four qualities highlighted relate to social identity construction which particularly includes class construction. Specifically, I will discuss class issues in Mrs. Dalloway which includes arguments on what Woolf as discuses about class issues in the 1920s.Virginia Woolf had a writing career that was at its peak in the early 1920s. In Virginia’s view of Class, she claims that the class concept has been a vital part of Virginia’s novels more than it has for any other author in the American tradition. The novel Mrs. Dalloway is no exception to an extent that social class is continuously present throughout the whole novel.

Thesis statement: effect of social class in Britain in the period 1920s as depicted in Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf.

Class discrimination in Britain within the period 1920.

According to Virginia Woolf’s in her fourth novel, Mrs. Dalloway which was set in London, on one Wednesday morning in mid-June 1923, the Covering span of a single day leading to a party hosted by  Clarissa Dalloway’s and at the same time shifting from one character to another in a successful stream-of-consciousness and efficient narrative. The modernist novel highlights various social class issues effortlessly all which are scanned through time and space. The same narrative highlights the numerous failures of the social system. Armed with themes like class, identity, communication inability, and finally the struggling public versus private self, the author puts across various social issues which also include thoughts about religion, technology, as well as mental illness. In the novel, Mrs. Dalloway offers expression about confusion while slowly giving an adjustment on the reality of a post-World War I English culture.The book depicts various cases of personal responsibility when the whole blame on class discrimination falls on Clarissa.

In the novel, there seems to be a distinct and obvious class element in Mrs. Dalloway. For example in the character of Sally Seton, she describes her that  Sally Seton showed up at the party without even a single  with her (Woolf, 32) .She also proceeded to comment about  the summer within  Bourton shocks where  Clarissa’s claims Aunt Helena commented so badly that  she refused to forgive  her (Woolf, 32).  These actions point out to lack of respectability to an extent that having little or no money comes with it. Additionally, all the criticisms which Sally comes across are from an archaic upper class. In the same way, Woolf comes up with a satire about the perceived upper classes by portraying Sally as one of the most successful and also one of the most progressive persona in the whole novel. In her roles, she quips numerous forbidden texts and also has various modern ideas. Clarissa argues that the said developmental ideas also appear taboo like which comprise why she is particularly attentive to Sally. According to her, the ideas were obviously Sally’s, however, as soon she was observed to be just excited (Woolf, 33). The expert shows that Sally is a bit progressive, and at the same time wields a lot of influences for Clarissa to think similarly. Interestingly, the alleged low class character that is depicted in Sally mitigates the traditional Victorian class orientation.

Clarissa also shows an intense hatred for two characters in particular: Ellie Henderson, Mrs. Kilman. The said main characters, who according to Clarissa are less interesting themselves, have only one purpose which is to show Clarissa, otherwise considered an upper class lad that she is definitely very shallow. However, in the novel, Clarissa prides herself as among the critical thinkers. This comes in spite of the fact that she fails to escape her class criticism. In the same way, Clarissa’s cousin, who known as Ellie Henderson is wholesomely referred to as extremely poor (Woolf, 187). Clarissa also refuses to invite her to a party whereby Ellie, when she shows up to the party wearing cheap pink flowers (Woolf, 165) she also hardly knows anyone in the party. Clarissa hates Ellie’s lower-class showing up at her expensive and executive party. As, if to prove her point  Sally Seton quips  that Clarissa was  particularly hard on others (Woolf,187) which shows that Clarissa judges people based on class in a harsh way. The class discrimination was even stronger than blood relations.

The alteration between Clarissa and Ellie shows how those who purportedly belong to lower classes are treated with contempt. The expert also indicates that those who were poor were seen as if they belonged to the lower class. They were also limited in terms of public and private interactions with those who belonged to the upper class. The social class limitation is also seen to receive a blanket condemnation when they are criticized by the likes of Clarissa who also appear to be looking down upon them. The characters who belong to the upper class re also seen to be retaliating attacks from those who are in the lower class resulting to verbal confrontations.

Another obvious example of the hatred and prejudice towards those who belong to the lower class is seen in Clarissa’s loathe on Miss Kilman. In the literary works, Miss Kilman is painted as “degradingly or very poor (Woolf, 120). In fact, Clarissa sees her as heavy, to mean fat ugly as well as commonplace (Woolf, 122) and also strongly abhors Miss Kilman’s relations with one Elizabeth. This is a further indication of disdain to the lower classes. However, Miss Kilman’s reciprocates Clarissa’s hatred. Miss Kilman does this by claiming to have pity to those who belong to the upper class. The continued treatment of Miss Kilman as a second class citizen who have limited rights. The indictment also reveals that those who are poor are also seen to be ugly just by virtue of being financially challenged (Arnold et al, 299).

The theme of class in the novel points out to some distrust between those who supposedly belong to the upper classes and those who belong to the lower classes. For example, Septimus, who is the only one who seems to look at the world with a clear view, is the one who least trusts   Sir Bradshaw. Sir Bradshaw who drives a posh motor car and is also respected a lot to earn an invitation to Mrs. Dalloway’s party yet on the contrary some characters see him as typical and a snobbish upper-class Victorian person. Sir Bradshaw’s sense of proportion theory is also shown as very ludicrous for it to qualify to be an effective psychological theory. However, Bradshaw himself is overly convinced about his own success. However, the way he treats Septimus as an ultimate failure, which shows the failure of the upper class aiding the lower classes.

In a bid to show her class, Clarissa regularly struggles in between private self and the need to communicate as well as socialize with others. She also thinks about killing herself (Woolf at first intended for Clarissa to kill herself) but later focuses about the doubt what she feels about the decisions she’s likely to make. It is agreed that she may not be satisfied with her life, however, Clarissa comes to accept it.

Woolf seems to think of the upper classes, as more respectable according to how she portrays of them in Mrs. Dalloway. Woolf particularly depicts the class structure which was in existence in Britain during the 1920s whereby during that time, Britain was a society largely divided by class. There were also various distinctions between the classes which were on increase during this period. In fact, England is well known as the only European country where the accent was used as one of the bases used to divide people. Every class had its own accent. There was also education division, people had classes according to how educated they were.


In the text social class which is one of the social construction is reviewed and well depicted. In the literacy work, people who are considered to belong to a lower class are viewed with a lot of contempt and prejudice. The social discrimination which is based on class is also seen to be stronger than blood relations when some of the characters in the book are seen to be treating their relatives as lower second class citizens just because they are poor.


Works Cited


Arnold, Elizabeth C., and Kathleen Underman Boggs. Interpersonal Relationships-E-Book: Professional Communication Skills for Nurses. Elsevier Health Sciences, 2015.

Woolf, Virginia. “Mrs. Dalloway.” Collected Novels of Virginia Woolf. Palgrave Macmillan UK, 1992. 33-176.




Sample Feedback from students

Sample Profiles for Our top Experts