Clarissa Dalloway is the protagonist of this novel. At 10 a.m. on Wednesday in June 1923 she goes to Bond Street to buy some flowers for a party organized in her house.
The story takes place on a single ordinary day, from the morning to the night.
Like so many other days, it is full of small episodes externally insignificant.
The protagonist walks the streets of London, accidentally meets people, makes thoughts, memories .
While she is entering in a flower shop, a car passes noisily in the street in front of the shop. Clarissa looks toward the street and sees Septimus Smith, a veteran of World War I, and his wife, Lucrezia while they are walking.
Septimus suffers mental disorders because during the war he saw his best friend Evans die in front of him. For this reason, he is forced by his wife to sessions with the psychologist William Bradshaw.
Clarissa returns home after buying the flowers and receives an unexpected visit from Peter Walsh, her suitor in Bourton who had refused to Richard Dalloway (richer and manners), who moved a number of years in India.
After that visit, Peter goes to Regent's Park, where he sees Septimus and Lucrezia while they go to the psychologist William Bradshaw for a session of 45 minutes that will lead Septimus to be locked up in a clinic. For this reason Septimus at 6 p.m. commits suicide jumping out the window in front of his wife.
A few hours later starts the party Clarissa. William Bradshaw arrives late and tells Clarissa that Septimus died.
Learning about this tragic event, Clarissa reflect on how necessary it is for her that Septimus dies because as he embrace death, she can embrace life. She choose to accept herself and her life.