Clarissa Dalloway Walks

Virginia Woolf (1882 – 1941) conceived Mrs. Dalloway as an experiment in writing

Portrait of Virginia Woolf, by her friend Roger Fry (1917)

Portrait of Virginia Woolf, by her friend Roger Fry (1917)

“party consciousness”–the thoughts, feelings, and sensation of people in an intensified social situation. As she wrote, she expanded that idea. You might say the novel portrays consciousness in a quickly modernizing world; the shell-shocked consciousness of soldiers returned from World War 1; the consciousness of sanity and insanity; the consciousness of social class. And, famously, it portrays the consciousness of an urban walk, as Clarissa makes her way through the busy streets of London, responding and contributing to its sights, sounds, and smells, its varied environments, its flux of human relations.


Clemson University professor E.K. Sparks created this map of the various walks taken by characters in the novel. It should help you visualize their travels. Professor Sparks was also kind enough to include a Powerpoint slideshow to accompany the map, including photographs of sights the characters would have seen along the way. Take a look at the link for a key to map and to download the slideshow.


Finally, I thought you might want to see a photograph of Woolf, to compare with Fry’s painting.

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