Mrs Dalloway And To The Lighhouse By Virginia Woolf

In her writings, Virginia Woolf wanted to capture the realness of life, as one
would live it. In turn, Woolf’s shared the significant elements of her life in
her poetic prose novels, Mrs. Dalloway and To the Lighthouse, as a relative
self-portrayal. In these books Woolf captured the life as she had lived it,
performing this task in three different layers of depth. For a general sense, by
allowing the characters to live in a similar society as her own, Woolf depicted
her society in her writing. In a deeper sense, many of Woolf’s family members,
relationships, and characteristics were symbolically illustrated through the
minor literary characters on a more personal level. Moreover, Woolf displayed
her views, beliefs, and personal events through the conscience of the main
characters. Commonly, people believe that Woolf had an ideal family. Born into
an aristocratic family, her father, Sir Leslie Stephen, was an eminent editor,
journalist, and a biographer; her husband, Leonard Woolf, also was an aristocrat
writer, who had a membership in an intellectual circle, Bloomsbury Group, along
with Virginia Woolf. Similarly, Woolf planned both Mrs. Dalloway and To the

Lighthouse to be the stories of two aristocratic families. Virginia Woolf lived
from the late Victorian Era until the beginning of King George VI’s reign,
through both the climax of Britain’s prosperity and political supremacy and
the decline of such political power which was due to the First World War. Yet,
in these transitions of Britain’s political status, new ideologies, such as
feminism, were developing. From the late Victorian Era to the end of First World

War marked a period in which the people attempted to accomplish the new beliefs
and ideologies, usually resulting in effective movements. Most of these ideas
were an antithesis of prewar traditions that were led by Modernist, the
questioners of tradition, in literary movements. Feminism was one of the popular
new ideologies, which generally began through writers, artists, and women of the
aristocracy, for they were the ones who were politically aware of what was going
on in Britain and on Continent. Furthermore, people, especially the middle and
the upper classes, enjoyed enormous prosperity that was brought in by
imperialism and the Industrial Revolution. Prosperity drew people to capitalism
and investments in foreign countries, for people loved money and were very
avaricious. In her writing, Woolf addressed these Victorian political
characteristics through the meeting of Richard Dalloway, Hugh Whitbread, and

Lady Bruton in Mrs. Dalloway, where Lady Bruton proposes "a project for
emigrating young people of both sexes born of respectable parents and setting
them up with a fair prospect of doing well in Canada." Lady Bruton’s strong
independence as a leader shows the movement towards tolerance of women being in
power. This scene also portrays people’s cupidity, since this project was
designed to bring in a substantial amount of profit. In addition, the Victorian

Era was an age of doubt, question, and skepticism towards God, mostly due to

Darwinism. Friction was created between morality and newly developing ideologies
and beliefs. Although a majority of people still attended church, many writers
and artists, especially Modernists, tended to be more agnostic. Likewise Woolf
showed the opposing sides, believers and idealists, through the repulsion of

Mrs. Dalloway against Miss Kilman, as Mrs. Dalloway has noted, "Had she [Miss

Kilman] even tried to convert any one herself? Did she not wish everybody merely
to be themselves? Let her... if she wanted to; let her stop; then let
her...There was something solemn in it—but love and religion would destroy
that, whatever it was, the privacy of the soul. The odious Kilman would destroy
it." Britain faced a phase of decline due to the First World War which brought
many changes to people’s lives, although the aristocrats were not as affected
by the war. Some post war effects were loneliness, mental and emotional
disorders, and disintegration usually suffered by middle and lower classes. In

Mrs. Dalloway, the Dalloway family is planning a party while Septimus Smith, a
middle class veteran, is suffering from mental and emotional disorders. Mrs.

Dalloway is suffering from loneliness. However, in To the Lighthouse, the Ramsay
family, also aristocrats, are suffering from the war due to the death of their
veteran son, Anthony Ramsay. Mrs. Dalloway and To the Lighthouse are filled with
symbols, notably those that represent or suggest vital people in Woolf’s life.

For example, from her childhood, her father had great influence in Woolf’s
life, for it was because of him that Woolf began to write. Woolf exemplified her
father through Mr. Ramsay in To the Lighthouse. Like Leslie