In Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway, Peter’s primary accusation concerning Clarissa is that she is the “perfect hostess.” Clarissa’s own vantage on her parties and other socializing varies from one moment to the next: she is ruffled by Peter’s notion that these are superficial enterprises, but also worries that there were times in her life when she was invested in something more vital. Write an essay in which you respond to Peter’s assessment of Clarissa by arguing (in your own words!) that the novel shows Clarissa’s “hostessing” either to be:
· a way of life that stifles some portion of Clarissa’s personality, OR
· a meaningful gesture in a world without stable meaning.
Although the focus is Clarissa, consider the portrayal of other characters (and their opinions of or relation to Clarissa) as you build your argument. Other requirements:
· As you work with your evidence, you should take a minimum of two sentences to respond to and analyze each quotation. This means not merely summarizing what the quotation communicates on a literal level, but also discussing its stylistic attributes (word choices, punctuation, verb forms, tense, symbols, imagery, etc.) and how these attributes help convey something significant in relation to your argument.
· You should make at least one overt reference to how the methods of free indirect discourse or stream of consciousness that Woolf uses impact your understanding of Clarissa or Clarissa in relation to another character.
· Use one comparable/contrasting example concerning Septimus.