Mrs. Dalloway Mind-Read

“Richard merely thought it foolish of her to like excitement when she knew it was bad for her heart. It was childish, he thought. And both were quite wrong. What she liked was simply life.” (121)

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

This sentence occurs after Clarissa receives flowers from Richard, and he tells her to take her afternoon nap at three. This prompts her to analyze why Richard is so insistent that she takes her nap, and it is because, according to Clarissa, Richard takes the doctors opinions very seriously and that it is foolish of her to like to do these things when it is bad for her. This sentence then assumes that Richard thinks that way, because it is framed in Richard’s voice, although it is Mrs. Dalloway who is actually thinking that this is what Richard thinks. It also assumes that Richard only thinks this act is foolish because Clarissa is prone to do it, what it does not presume is what other motivations Richard might have to making sure Clarissa naps, which  might be simply because he loves her. This sentence also manages to create a closeness to the character of Richard through the use of reporting of the verb “he thought” but it is actually Clarissa who is doing the thinking, which then makes the reader assume that these thoughts must be true. This again relates to Clarissa’s overall character, as she gets mad at Richard for assuming she has her enjoyment coming from parties and other social events, when she just likes life, yet in getting mad at his assumption she also makes assumptions of Richard’s motives on her own.

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