At 10 a.m. on a Wednesday early in June 1923, Clarissa Dalloway, the protagonist of the novel, goes to Bond Street to buy some flowers for a party, at her house.
While she is in the flower shop, a car drives noisily past and shifts the attention to the street, where Septimus and Lucrezia Warren Smith are walking; Septimus has a mental disorder causated by the war, that needed doctors, like Sir William Bradshaw, a famous nerve specialist.
Clarissa walks back home and there she receives an unexpected visit from Peter Walsh, the man she used to love in her youth.
He then leaves Clarissa’s house and goes to Regent’s Park, where he sees the Warren Smiths who are going to Sir William Bradshaw’s interview.
The interview lasts three-quarters of an hour.
Septimus is obliged to go into one of his clinics.
At 6 p.m. Septimus jumps out of the window of his room, and commits suicide; the ambulance passes by Peter Walsh, who is going back to his hotel.
All the characters are then present at Calrissa’s party.
The Bradshaw arrive and Clarissa hears from them of Septimus’s death.
Mrs Dalloway takes place on a single ordinary day in June 1923, and it follows the protagonist through London, from the morning to the night of the day on which she gives a large party.
Woolf’s characters show their deep humanity.
Through the ‘tunnelling technique’ she allows the reader to experience the characters’ recollection of their past, that provides their background and personal history.
Clarissa Dalloway’s party is the climax of the novel and unifies the narrative.