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Mrs. Dalloway: the plot


The main character is Clarissa Dalloway, the wife of Richard Dalloway - a Member of Parliament- who goes around London in the morning to buy flowers for the party she is giving that evening at her house. The nice day reminds her of her youth spent in the countryside in Bourton. She thinks about her choice of her husband; she married with Richard Dalloway instead of the enigmatic Peter Walsh, with whom she was in love when she was young.
Clarissa returns home after buying flowers and receives an unexpected visit from Peter Walsh who spent several years in India. She invited him to her party.

Septimus Warren Smith, a First World War veteran suffering from deferred traumatic stress, spends his day in the park with his wife Lucrezia, where Peter Walsh observes them. Septimus is visited by frequent hallucinations, mostly concerning his dear friend Evans who died in the war. Later that day, while the party of Clarissa is taking place, he commits suicide by jumping out of a window.

Clarissa's party in the evening is a slow success. It is attended (frequentato) by most of the characters she has met, including people from her past, like her friend Sally. She hears about Septimus' suicide at the party and gradually comes to admire this stranger's act, which she considers an effort to preserve the purity of his happiness.

The novel ends with Peter moved and troubled by the approach of Clarissa, though the novel does not tell us what happen next.

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