Term Paper: Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Wolfe

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[. . .] It is like they waste their love by pining after things that are not important. It is sad that they do not realize until it is too late what is important to them.

In both stories there is a lot of sadness that is caused by the women having the wrong attitude about life. "The theme of this story is that sometimes a little time, patience and willingness to try and understand someone can sometimes heal the deepest wound" (Mayrant 1). The same is true in the story of Mrs. Dalloway. She realizes how losing Septimus that she has a better understanding of life. Both of these stories are about love and often the fact that the women do not know or understand love until they have time to begin to heal. Both stories could be called "Love Medicine," because love is the medicine that both Lulu and Clarissa need in their lives.

Both authors bring the women alive as they bring out the "fundamental human capacities for love, jealousy, devotion, generosity, endurance and despair" in the characters of Lulu and Clarissa (Endeavor 1). The women are able to feel and experience life in death and love. It can be said that "In people's eyes, in the swing, tramp, and trudge; in the bellow and the uproar; the carriages, motor cars, omnibuses, vans, sandwich men shuffling and swinging; brass bands; barrel organs, in the triumph and the jungle and the strange high singing of some aeroplane overhead was what she loved; life; London; this moment of June" (Guestlist 1). Both women loved and lived their life regardless of what the circumstances were. Neither was afraid to reach out and try to find what life was about. During the difficult times they face life and make decisions to continue to struggle for happiness in life.

In both stories, the authors take advantage of the woman's character and blend the feminine with the masculine. "When characters call upon tradition to guide their lives, they reconcile the distant and recent past with the present....Those who take advantage of the fluidity between past and present are free to incorporate it into their experience rituals complementing the gender-based behavior that is expected of them will survive and even triumph" (Studyworld 4). This can be clearly seen in Lulu and Clarissa. They are not afraid to fight for what is theirs or to recognize that the past makes who they are.

Lulu and Clarissa are alike in that they want to be in control of their lives. "Lulu is portrayed trying to gain power in every aspect of her life; at home, politically, and among her peers. And as it turns out, she does attain the level of power she aspires to" (uic.edu1). Clarissa is in control throughout the story. In the beginning, she refused to marry Peter because "he would not have given her any independence" (Classic Notes 1). Independence was important to both women.

Clarissa and Lulu have positive attitudes toward life. "Clarissa's attitude toward life and the moment to moment structure of the book" show the positive feelings that Clarissa has for life even when she feels she does not know herself. Lulu is the same. She is strong and independent and she accepts what life has to offer.

The women in Love Medicine and Mrs. Dalloway have very similar characters. They both lose someone they love, but find themselves in their acceptance of grief. Both women are independent and know what they want out of life. Although the settings are different, either woman could fit into either of the stories because they are so much alike.

Works Cited

Classic Note on Mrs. Dalloway" Available Online at http://www.gradesaver.com/ClassicNotes/Titles/dalloway/fullsumm.html

Erdich, Louise. "Love Medicine" Reading Group Guide Available Online at http://www.readinggroupguides.com/guides/love_medicine.asp

Guest List with Select Quotations for Mrs. Dalloway" July 22, 1997 Available Online at http://www.uah.edu/woolf/dallowayguestlistquotes.html

Literature Annotation Erdrich, Louise Love Medicine" Available Online at http://endeavor.med.nyu.edu/lit-med/lit-med-db/sebdocs/webdescrips/erdrick153-des-.html

Love Medicine" Available Online at http://www.uic.edu/depts/eng1/projects/dissertations/kdorwick/eng1214/Bruce/love.html

Louise Erdrich's Love Medicine: Loving Over Time and Distance" Available Online at http://www.studyworld.com/basementpapers/papers/stack32_10.html

Mayrant, Tynisa. "Response Paper on Erdrich's "Love Medicine" Available Online at http://www.2street.com/eng84/paper.lovemed.html [END OF PREVIEW]

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