Mrs. Dalloway; Past

“Far was Italy and the white houses and the room where her sister sat making hats, and the streets crowded every evening with people walking, laughing out loud, not half alive like people here, huddled up in Bath chairs, looking at a few ugly flowers stuck in pots!” (Woolf, 11 -12)

We are taken away from Clarissa’s inner consciousness and transported into Rezia’s memories of home. These thoughts arise when she steps away from her husband Septimus. An expression of nostalgia and frustration of her current life and her closeted secret regarding her husband’s madness. The only escape she can find was of a better life back in her native Italy.

Portrait of the Artist as a young man

“I am a catholic as my father was and his father before him and his father before him again when we gave up our lives rather than sell our faith.” (27)

“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. (28)

The world in which Stephen is growing up is one centered on religion, from his school life and even his family life is dictated by religious ideology. It is also a subject of great debate both within the Catholics themselves as seen at Christmas, or the Catholic attitudes towards non-Catholics.

James, Henry. “The Middle Years.”

“Dencombe, soaring again a little on the weak wings of convalescence still by that happy notion of an organized rescue, found another strain of eloquence to plead the cause of a certain splendid “last manner,” the very citadel, as it would prove, of his reputation, the stronghold into which his real treasure would be gathered.”  (James, 350)

Henry James, “The Middle Years”, H. James Complete Stories 1892-1898, The Library of America, 1996, page 350.

Sentence offers a picture of both Decombe’s internal struggle as an artist and his sense of unfulfillment as well as the effect the young doctor is beginning to have upon him giving him greater confidence in what he has already accomplished. Utilizing imagery of a stronghold to highlight the importance of one’s reputation has for Dencombe and his wish to continue adding to this stronghold. He also mentions the happiness he feels when conversing with Hugh that he feels he is “soaring” albeit on weak and sickly wings but he is beginning to have a better image of how his work will remain even after he is gone.