‘Mrs. Dalloway’ – How the Past Affects the Present

“For it was the middle of June. The War was over, except for some one like Mrs. Foxcroft at the Embassy last night eating her heart out because that nice boy was killed and now the old Manor House must go to a cousin; or Lady Bexborough who opened a bazaar, they said, with the telegram in her hand, John her favorite, killed; but it was over; thank Heaven – over” (Woolf, 4).

Woolf, Virginia. Mrs. Dalloway. Hancourt, 2002.

Throughout the novel, we see how the past of the war catches up to the people of London, bringing back past traumas. At the beginning of the novel, we see how the tragedies of the war are still following the people of London. We start off by reading about an airplane flying above London creating this sort of anxiety for the survivors of the war as it brings up traumatic events they witnessed in the past. We can also relate this to mental illness in a way, as with most parts of this novel, and identify that these characters have PTSD.