About the Book (Virginia Woolf, Mrs Dalloway)

 

Essay #2 Mrs. Dalloway
You may choose one question below and respond with a coherent, thesis-driven essay (don’t just answer the question; structure your response in an essay format.) Please feel free to create your own prompt.
1. Discuss Mrs. Dalloway in terms of modernism. What is modernism? How does the novel reflect the alienation that stems from the events that shape modernism?
2. Discuss Mrs. Dalloway in terms of despair and hope. In what ways does this novel suggest that traditional notions of redemption—love, faith, science, friendship, career—lack redeeming power? Does this novel offer a source of optimism, that is to say, does it suggest how one might find meaning in life?
3. Mrs. Dalloway employs two distinctive literary elements: plot (its absence) and stream of consciousness. Discuss these in terms of the novel, and discuss how use of these ties in with the novel’s overall vision. In other words, how does use of these allow the reader to see more deeply into the human condition?
*Write 5 pages (1500 words).
*Include a works cited as page 6
*Incorporate at least one critical study, using quotes or paraphrases with accurate MLA in text citation. You may use the critical study included in the class handout, or other critical studies are available on the Eng 111 Moodle Page
*Submit a paper copy on the due date AND be sure it is submitted to Turnitin
Writing Process
I urge you to approach writing this essay one of two ways. Either, brainstorm what claims you will write. In other words, if you are answering question 1, you might explore how Freud and psychology are reflected in this novel (stream-of-consciousness style, references to madness, the psychiatrist characters); if so, write a claim about how modernism is shaped by Freud and psychology. Write an essay by breaking it into its component claims, and then support each claim with at least three pieces of evidence.
Alternatively, you might START with a freewrite on your topic. Then highlight your main ideas from your freewrite and write claims.
Claims: Either way, you will ultimately break down your discussion into claims/support. Be sure each supporting paragraph starts with an opinion about how some element of the novel is suggesting an overall theme or feeling. One way to support claims is with quotes from the novel (always use signal phrases to introduce a quote, Example: When Peter Walsh thinks, “For this is the truth about our soul, he though, our self, who fish-like inhabits deep seas and plies among obscurities. . .” (161) ,the sense of human isolation and disconnectedness is evoked. Support for claims will also be summaries of a scene or character and at least one quote from the critical study. Each paragraph will use a combination of quotes, summaries and critical study quotes or paraphrases.
Consider writing a clear thesis after you’ve written your paper, but put the thesis as the last sentence of the introductory paragraph.
As with the short story essay, write a clever introduction that includes a complete mention of the author’s name and the title of the book. Book titles are either underlined or italicized every time they are mentioned. Write an interesting conclusion that is not just restating what you already stated. Perhaps consider a meditation on the relevance of the ideas of this novel for today.
Please edit your essay carefully before you submit it. Delete all uses of “really” “very” and “just” or any other filler word you might use habitually. Check sentences for clarity, completeness and transitional flow. If you know you tend to be wordy, check for wordiness and redundancy.

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