With the conclusion of our reading of Mrs. Dalloway, I have identified the one passage and quote that I feel best encapsulates the overall theme of Virgina Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway. Strangely enough, I do not recall going over the particular passage I have in mind during my first encounter with Mrs. Dalloway in another Emory English class. I believe that extended focus of our project on places and relationships caused Clarissa’s thoughts on understanding people to stand out to me more than before, “Clarissa had a theory in those days…It was to explain the feeling of dissatisfaction; not knowing people; not being known…So that to know her, or any one, on must seek out the people who completed them; even the places” (117 ).
It stuns me that my attention was not drawn to this passage in my previous read through and I think it mostly has to do with the fact that I struggled, as many do, to comprehend the peculiar writing style that Woolf employs. Overwhelmed by her tendency to write out her characters’ thoughts in a stream of consciousness format, I glossed over the internal reflections of some characters in order to simplify the many different interactions and crossing of plot points in my mind. Obviously, that style of reading was a critical error in this context.
This rereading experience has proved to me yet again that books can be rediscovered over and over again, much like watching a movie over again allows a viewer to focus on extraneous details that could otherwise be ignored. I credit the mapping assignment with restructuring my reading focus and I look forward to seeing how other assignments this semester might further affect the way I approach a writing from now on.