Sunday, September 19, 2010

Mrs. Dollaway

Since I finished the first pages for my altered book I've been noticing the way Mrs. Dollaway inspires me visually. One visual element I definitely want to make use of is Big Ben, for several reasons. The novel has a very tight time line, one day, this time is very important. Also, there seems to be a fear of death motivating the characters, especially Clarissa and the passing of time represents movement towards death. I might try to incorporate the image of "leaden circle dissolving in the air" an expression that occurs several times in the novel. I think this is speaking on the permanence of time passed as well as the fleetingness of the present.

Another image that I want to work with is flowers. First of all flowers are very visually appealing and offer a lot of artistic possibilities. Flowers are an important symbol in the book. They are symbols for many different emotions and ideas. They represent Clarissa's independence because she chooses to go out and get them for herself. I think they also represent the life she has chosen, because Richard gives her roses, as opposed to the life she would have had with Peter.

I might dedicate another page to the old women who lives in the house across from Clarissa. The old woman represents loneliness in the novel, specifically the lonliness that comes from growing old. Conversely Clarissa see's some beauty in the privacy and lack of communication in the woman's life. She is free of anyone who might oppress her. Clarissa see's herself and a possible future of isolation in the old woman.

I think the idea of loneliness is also rendered visibly to the ocean. Characters seem to be often feeling as though they are drowning, or that there are lost at sea. I might make my ocean page from Jacob's Room a spread. This makes sense the element because of water stands for a similar kind of melancholy in that novel. The ocean also seems to be connected to Septimus and his suicide. Clarissa seems to veiw his death as a positive act, she's glad he did it.

Another thing I was thinking about, although I'm not sure how I would portray it's visual is Septimus's depression as a reflections of Woolf's mental ailment. I also wonder if his suicide in the book is a grim foreshadowing of her own suicide. I feel that it at least is indicative of her feeling toward suicide as being a possible escape, rather than tragedy. It is especially an escape if one is as mentally tormented as Woolf or Septimus. The way that Clarissa reacts to his death, and see's herself reflected in it, may be a stand in for Virginia herself. "She felt somehow very like him—the young man who had killed himself. She felt glad that he had done it; thrown it away"(115)

Another important theme in the book is love that cannot be acted upon. Of course there is Peter and Clarissa. Since she rejected him, they both still think about on another. Part of Clarissa's depressive thoughts are related to wondering what her life with Peter would have been like. Then there is Clarissa's romantic relationship with Sally. They had one kiss which was the peak in Clarissa's life. They can never be together because of the restraints of traditional society.

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