Mrs. Dalloway: Voicing the Terror of a Post-War Society

Şebnem Düzgün

In Mrs. Dalloway, Virginia Woolf expresses the terror experienced by a society whose ideas about war, gender, morality and religion have changed dramatically after World War I. Woolf gives voice to the terror experienced by Septimus Warren Smith, a character who has first-hand knowledge of the brutalities of war. Moreover, she depicts the horror of conventional-minded people who cannot tolerate the male and female figures defying the established gender norms based on the idea of the superiority of men. Woolf also regards religious scepticism as a means of terror threatening the authority of the Church. Things associated with war and destruction, like physical deformity, old age and death, are the other causes of the horror discussed in the novel. The present study examines the sources of terror in Mrs. Dalloway in order to show that Woolf focuses on the psychological, political, social and individual aspects of the horror felt by a post-war society.

Keywords: Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway, war, terror, society, morality, gender, religion