Mrs. Dalloway Virginia Woolf Commonplace Past – Bryant Magdaleno

“And she wasted her pity. For he was quite happy, he assured her — perfectly happy, though he had never done a thing that they talked of; his whole life had been a failure. It made her angry still.” (Woolf 7)

Woolf, Virginia, and Bonnie Kime Scott. Mrs. Dalloway. A Harvest Book, Harcourt, Inc., 2005.

Within this text we can gain glimpse to the mindset of Mrs. Dalloway, where she contemplates her past with Peter Walsh. She speaks of how life had passed them by with her never marrying a Prime Minister and him never marrying her, life as she put it was not done the way they spoke of. He was a failure to her for never really making it, she reflects on this idea of the past and ones place to the future, how they promise and hope for the best but she is angry at the thought of not completing what they set out, it brings to mind if she is angry of her past promise or her future never getting it done.

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Joyce Treatment of Childhood Commonplace

“And she did not like him to play with Eileen because Eileen was a protestant and when she was young she knew children that used to play with protestants and the protestants used to make fun of the litany of the Blessed Virgin. Tower of Ivory, they used to say, House of Gold! How could a woman be a tower of ivory or a house of gold? Who was right then?”

James Joyce, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, ed. Jeri Johnson (Oxford: Oxford UP, 2000),pg 29.

Within this quote Joyce treats Stephen’s ignorance on religious intolerance as a show of his innocence. It seems as a showcase of how Joyce wishes to frame the mindset of a child like Stephen where these notions of difference are meaningless to children, as if this intolerance of not being friends with someone due to a difference of religion is a learned behavior not an innate one. Thus Stephen understands the reason why Dante does not like Eileen but not the intention of it, which is a interesting way to frame such an understanding of childhood.