jealousy, love, and life after fifty

“A terrible confession it was (he put his hat on again), but now, at the age of fifty-three, one scarcely needed people anymore. Life itself, every moment of it, every drop of it, here, this instant, now, in the sun, in Regent’s Park, was enough. Too much, indeed. A whole lifetime was too short to bring out, now that one had acquired the power, the full flavour; to extract every ounce of pleasure, every shade of meaning; which both were so much more solid than they used to be, so much less personal” (Woolf 59).

Woolf, Virginia. Mrs. Dalloway. Benediction Classics, Oxford, 2017, pp.59

Here, in the park with Peter, Clarrisa admits to herself that she is in love with Peter, but that with age they have both come to realize that life is forever different after fifty, and that love is different, too. She confesses that after all those years of him being in love with her and not reciprocating, it is now she who is falling for Peter.