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Trauma and Recovery in Virginia Woolf ’ s Mrs. Dalloway

Trauma and Recovery in Virginia Woolf ’ s Mrs. Dalloway

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Trauma and Recovery in Virginia Woolf ’ s Mrs. Dalloway

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  1. Trauma and Recovery in Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway By Karen DeMeester. Modern Fiction Studies 44 (1998): 649-73. Reported by Anne Chen

  2. The Psychological Effects of Trauma • The fragmentation of consciousness • A loss of faith in the ideologies of the past • Chronological and spatial confusion • Seclusion in the closed system of his private, subjective consciousness • Repression by past memories & society

  3. Woolf’s narrative corresponds to trauma • Woolf’s stream-of-consciousness narrative form corresponds to the trauma survivor’s perception of time: intermingling the past and future with the present • Woolf’s narratives is identical to the trauma survivor’s perception of space: using repetition to show the closed system of subjective consciousness

  4. Septimus as a trauma survivor • The past becomes the force of repression • War neurosis is the result of a shattered sense of identity • Septimus’s neurosis comes to be a disturbance to communicate with others • He is resisted by members of the community (Dr. Holmes & Sir William Bradshaw) • No recovery: destroy the meaningful recovery from the war

  5. Clarissa as a trauma survivor • Her faith in social convention as a means of ordering a post-traumatic world—her party • To conform the social ideologies, she feels the loss of individuality and identity– sense of being herself invisible; unseen; unknown • Recovery: recommit herself to a life and returns to her party but life lacks meaning and vitality