• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Mrs. Dalloway is the ultimate form of free indirect discourse. Virginia Woolf employs this literary technique to allow the reader a chance to truly delve into the characters thoughts

Extracts from this document...


Cynthia Yang 10/10/12 IB English Mrs. Dalloway Essay Embodiment and Free Indirect Discourse: Reliance Mrs. Dalloway is the ultimate form of free indirect discourse. Virginia Woolf employs this literary technique to allow the reader a chance to truly delve into the characters? thoughts. Through this mechanism, character development happens not only through the lens of an omniscient third party but also through the characters? own lenses and the perspectives of other characters. With free indirect discourse, the characters of this novel become much more than just personages in a novel about the events of a single day. In fact, the technique gives rise to some characters coming to embody certain prevalent themes in the novel. The implementation of embodiment is essential because it allows Woolf to comment on certain social themes from all angles, giving new meaning to complex themes such as human nature and love and religion. ...read more.


Similarly, Miss Kilman becomes the embodiment of love and religion. Even when ?the body of Miss Kilman was not before her [Clarrisa], it overwhelmed her ? the idea? (126). In this case, the embodiment is much more literal: the flesh of Miss Kilman becomes the theme. Miss Kilman, unlike Dr. Holmes, acknowledges the embodiment herself when she thinks, ?it is the flesh that she must control? (128). Clarissa feels that love and religion destroy ?privacy of the soul?, something she greatly values (127). On a more tangible level, Miss Kilman physically takes Elizabeth, who she greatly loves, away from Clarissa. The embodiment throughout the novel gives light to the destructive nature of certain themes. However, this embodiment would not be possible without free indirect discourse. Free indirect discourse is the backbone that allows embodiment to flourish. The technique allows for the reader to enter Septimus?s mind to understand the gravity of the distress human nature causes him. ...read more.


While Dr. Holmes?s oblivion to his embodiment strengthens it, Miss Kilman?s tactical awareness strengthens her embodiment. This major difference is made apparent only through narration, or in Holmes?s case, lack thereof. Without free indirect discourse, characters would not be able to embody themes. Throughout the novel, theme becomes much more apparent through the technique of free indirect discourse. The characters of the novel come to embody, physically become, themes that reek havoc on other characters? lives. Dr. Holmes and human nature push Septimus to his demise. Miss Kilman and love and religion manage to strip Clarissa of her true values. The narration style of the novel is essential to understanding the idea of embodiment. Undoubtedly, free indirect discourse in this novel highlights the deleterious nature of human nature and love and religion. The condemnation of the themes leads one to wonder, is this part of a larger social commentary that Woolf is attempting to make? Do aspects of human behavior inherently have perverse affects on humans themselves? ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate World Literature section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related International Baccalaureate World Literature essays

  1. Hedda Gabler- structure of the play and the major characters

    Elvsted, and Eilert L�vborg. Thea is forever loyal to L�vborg as she runs away from home to be with him. On the other hand, even though the readers know that Hedda and L�vborg share an intense relationship, she betrays him and leads him to his suicide. Moreover, Hedda betrays Mrs.

  2. Opening of To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf. In what ways does the ...

    It was always true. He was incapable of untruth; never tempered with a fact; never altered a disagreeable word to suit the pleasure or convenience of any mortal being, [â¦] one that needs, above all, courage, truth, and the power to endureâ to suggest that Mr Ramsay is the one who controls and dominates his family.

  1. Reflections on "Miss Julie" in a cultural context

    she even doesn't go to see the cousins to stay behind with Jean. Jean wanted to have sex with a person of a higher class because from when he was little he was in love with Miss Julie but couldn't get her.

  2. Clarissa and Mrs Dalloway in Virginia Woolf's "Mrs Dalloway" and comparison with the modernist ...

    Woolf uses the party and its preparation to set out an evening towards the eventual assembly of Clarissa?s identity. The party is a way for all of Clarissa?s personality aspects to come together at once. In the same way, in the second sentence of the first part of The Waste Land, Eliot introduces a new element, a narrating personal consciousness.

  1. Discuss the Effects of Major Political and Social Movements on the Literary Works of ...

    Each selection is unique and has its own theme. However, collectively they share a common pattern, portrayal of individuals than society, and show the various effects of socio-political factors of that time. The subject of racism has been a lively theme in the literary works of the 20th century.

  2. Analysis of "North and South" by Elizabeth Gaskell

    is neither exactly plain, nor yet handsome, not quite a gentleman; but that was to be expected. (GASKELL 2003: 41) Nevertheless, Thornton is not a gentleman because he should have the title Gent. after his name which he does not have.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work