Use this space to add comments and thoughts that we didn’t have room for in class discussion this week!
Thinking back to when we discussed as a class should the background information of the authors life be used to determine why is it that an author writes? Well from my point of view since class discussions we tend to go back to an authors bibliography’s and background information in the book then truthfully it should be used to determine why an author writes. Authors write what they know and they write what they experienced and what they been thorough. For example take Ms. Dalloway for instance the character Septimus was dealing with a post traumatic stress disorder in the novel he was having hullicantions of his friend that died in the war, it’s similar to when we take a look at Woolf’s background story she too was dealing with a disorder a bipolar disorder. What she was going through and the way she was feeling during her time period must of have a tremendous effect on how she wanted to portrade Sptimus as to use Septimus as a figure to speak for her without her explicitly telling the readers what her state of mind was at the moment. Woolf used Septimus as a war hero suffering from shell shock to even speak to the readers how the first world war even still scared her, it traumatized her in a way and for that background information should be used to determine why it is an author writes. I don’t care what Philosophers and critics say that you should disregard what you know about the author and focus on what your getting from the text. I feel if anything knowing the background information helps us to not only understand the text better but to be able to engage in the text more and have a sense of feeling that your in the book and your experiencing and seeing what’s being described on those pages.
Based on wednesday’s class discussion that the Androgynous mind is sexless and that it is both the mind of a man and woman, thinking about this it poses the question should any man and woman give up the way that they think and just focus on thinking the same? Is that even possible is my thought? I honestly don’t think a woman can just give up her views and think the same as a man nor can a man give up his views and the way he sees things and think the same as a woman. For the two to become one in thought it’s very hard for me to picture happening. The reason for this is that woman for a long time have their own feminist perspective on different situations like the case of say something is said in a book isn’t going to be the same way a man judge the book the same he’s going to have his own perspective on the idea. The two individual can simple agree with each other on the same idea but to disregard their individual views and think the same I don’t see it happening.
Any comments you’d like to add or extend from classes this week? We are particularly interested in the character of Mrs. Dalloway herself.
This week we talked in particular about Septimus in the passages on page 68ff., 84ff., 90ff., and 136ff. And then there’s Septimus’s suicide, on page 144-46. We also talked more generally about reminders of war, a theme that returns in many passages. Use this post to add follow-up comments or to point out things we missed!
This week we have been discussing pages 3-4 and pages 179-182 of Mrs. Dalloway in relation to the themes of death/life, fun/fear (terror), communication (empathy, connection), and time. We are particularly interested in the use of free indirect discourse. Are there comments about these passages that you’d like to add? Feel free to do so here! (And don’t forget that we have another month of discussion on Mrs. Dalloway, so these themes will recur….)