“The Past” in Mrs. Dalloway

“‘Yes,’ said Peter;. ‘Yes, yes, yes,’ he said, as if she drew up to the surface something which positively hurt him as it rose. Stop! Stop! he wanted to cry. For he was not old; his life was not over; not by any means.” (Woolf 64)

Woolf, Virginia. Mrs. Dalloway. Harcourt, 2002

Peter’s past is something that we have seen time and time again become an issue for him, as Clarissa’s rejection still burns a hole in his chest, even though it was mostly his own fault why he even got rejected in the first place. Regardless, both Peter and Clarissa continue to wonder what life would’ve been like if they had been together, with different reactions from each of them. Ultimately showing that even though two characters may share a past with each other, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they share the same feelings about it.