By Nina TorskaTue. 30 Apr. 20243min Read

10 Best Mrs Dalloway Quotes

In this blog, we delve into key quotes from "Mrs Dalloway," exploring Woolf's profound insights into consciousness and society.
10 Best Mrs Dalloway Quotes

In Virginia Woolf's "Mrs Dalloway," I am endlessly fascinated by the fluid poetry of her prose and the piercing depth of her psychological insight.

This novel, a masterpiece of modernist literature, elegantly weaves together the inner thoughts and complex emotions of its characters, capturing the profound and fleeting moments of everyday life within the span of a single day in post-war London.

"She always had the feeling that it was very, very dangerous to live even one day." — Clarissa Dalloway

This quote encapsulates the novel's exploration of the fragility of life and the pervasive awareness of mortality that haunts Clarissa, reflecting on the overarching precariousness of existence.

"One cannot bring children into a world like this. One cannot perpetuate suffering, or increase the breed of these lustful animals, which have no lasting emotions, but only whims and vanities, spurting up and then running dry." — Septimus Warren Smith

Septimus, struggling with shell shock from the war, expresses his disillusionment and his profound disconnection from the society that continues around him, encapsulating his mental torment and existential despair.

"She had the oddest sense of being herself invisible; unseen; unknown." — Clarissa Dalloway

Clarissa's reflection on her own invisibility within the social world she navigates highlights a central theme in the novel: the private self versus the public persona, and the isolation that can accompany social performance.

"Fear no more, says the heart in the body; fear no more." — Clarissa Dalloway

This is a recurring thought for Clarissa, derived from Shakespeare's "Cymbeline," signifying a moment of internal solace and acceptance amidst the chaos of her external world.

"For now she knew, walking round London, her hand clutching her ticket, that it could be done; that one could wave one's hand and say goodbye to people, go ahead in a new direction without any fuss or bother." — Clarissa Dalloway

Clarissa's moment of realization about the possibility of change and new beginnings reflects her longing for freedom and autonomy, a theme that resonates through her recollections and current experiences.

"He would not go mad. He would shut his eyes; he would see no more." — Septimus Warren Smith

This chilling resolve by Septimus to shut out the world encapsulates his ultimate escape from his unendurable reality, foreshadowing his tragic end.

"But she could remember going cold with excitement and doing her hair in a kind of ecstasy." — Clarissa Dalloway

Clarissa reminisces about her youthful passions and excitements, contrasting sharply with her present life, providing a poignant look at the passage of time and the changes it brings.

"It is a thousand pities never to say what one feels." — Clarissa Dalloway

Clarissa's regret over her unexpressed feelings points to another major theme in the novel—the repression of true emotions for the sake of social propriety.

"Nothing exists outside us except a state of mind." — Clarissa Dalloway

This philosophical assertion reflects Woolf's exploration of reality as a subjective experience, central to the stream-of-consciousness technique that defines the novel.

"The compensation of growing old... was simply this; that the passions remain as strong as ever, but one has gained—at last!—the power which adds the supreme flavour to existence,—the power of taking hold of experience, of turning it round, slowly, in the light." — Clarissa Dalloway

Here, Clarissa contemplates aging and the deeper understanding of life it brings, embracing the cumulative power of experiences that shape our perspectives.

Download Mrs Dalloway for Free

Image source: Wikipedia

Read “Mrs Dalloway” on PDF

Download PDF Reader Pro to quickly and easily enable “Read Mode” for a pleasant reading experience on your desktop, tablet or phone.

Get Started with PDF Reader Pro Today!

If you liked this collection of quotes, you will also like our list of classic romance novels, available to read about, download and to import to PDF Reader Pro, right here on our blog.

Get Started with PDF Reader Pro Today!