Mind Read–Mrs. Dalloway

“…Saw him hesitate; consider; which interested her, as Mr. Dalloway always interested her, for what was he thinking, she wondered, about Peter Walsh?

That Peter Walsh had been in love with Clarissa; that he would go back directly after lunch and find Clarissa; that he would tell her in so many words, that he loved her. Yes, he would say that.”

Woolf, Virginia. Mrs. Dalloway. New York: Harcourt Inc, 1925. Print. 104

In this scene, Mr. Whitbread, Lady Bruton and Mr. Dalloway are dining together and Lady Bruton had just mentioned that Peter Walsh is back in town. Lady Bruton’s secretary, Milly Brush, is her thinking about what Mr. Dalloway must be analyzing in his mind about Peter Walsh. What could he be thinking about the man that used/still may love his wife? Actually, the passage intrigued my in many ways because of its reflection of both Milly Brush as a character and also how she perceives Mr. Dalloway. As the reader we see that Mrs. Dalloway is actually unhappy and insecure about her marriage to Richard, however, here Milly is portraying Mr. Dalloway’s full love and affection for his wife in a form of jealousy and assurance in claiming her as his own in love and in a strange way that his love has emerged only in the light of another man’s love for Clarissa. Milly Brush seems to assume a character of Mr. Dalloway that expresses love and care, however as the reader I see the opposite. Her assumption of his thoughts shows to me that her idea of Richard is that of jealousy and insecurity. If she did not think that Richard was insecure about his marriage, would she be so sure in her assumption of his thoughts being┬áthat of seeking reassurance of his love with his wife?

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