Mrs. Dalloway

“All the time he was thinking only of Clarissa, and was fidgeting with his knife” (Woolf 187)

Here Sally is assuming that Peter is still in love with Clarissa. It highlights the fact that after all these years Peter still yearns for Clarissa. Woolf is further solidifying Peter’s feelings for Clarissa by allowing another character to make the conclusion on their own. However, by allowing Sally to think of Peter’s feelings of Clarissa, Woolf is also drawing on the relationship between Sally, Clarissa, and Peter. This strengthens the validity of Sally’s thoughts because she has known both Peter and Clarissa for a long time, also offering that Peter’s feelings for Clarissa may not be apparent to everyone else.

I’ve Had My Fun

“Well, I’ve had my fun; I’ve had it, he thought, looking up at the swinging baskets of pale geraniums. And it was smashed to atoms- his fun, for it was half made up, as he knew very well; invented, this escapade with the girl; made up, as one makes up the better part of life, he thought- making oneself up; making her up; creating an exquisite amusement, and something more. But odd it was, and quite true; all this one could never share- it smashed to atoms.” (54)

This quote relates to a lot of running motifs and themes throughout the book, like the repeated use of flowers as imagery. It also touches on madness, ‘made up,’ ‘invented’ fun, of following a girl. There are different levels of madness and psychosis that are brought up in the book. Instances like this that are for fun and play and quite harmless, Peter even recognizes it himself, and then others that are more serious and caused by the war, Steptimus.