Examples Of Solitude

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3.1 Alternation between Solitude vs Social Intercourse As one of the features of Modernist solitude, the alternation between solitude and society is ubiquitously depicted in Woolf's novels. In fact, nearly none of the characters in Woolf's novels can be categorized as an absolute solitary or absolute social being. In these texts, however socially active a character might be, he or she demonstrates needs, of varying degrees, for solitude and privacy. On the other hand, solitary figures occasionally display a will to seek company and reconnect with the world. Woolf's novels display a contradictory desires for connection and solitude. These characters demonstrate a paradox in which they oscillate between the desire for solitude and the longing…show more content…
At the beginning of the novel, Mrs Dalloway has already expressed the strong necessity of solitude in one's life and the importance of privacy and independence in a marriage: “And there is a dignity in people; a solitude; even between husband and wife a gulf; and that one must respect, thought Clarissa...for one would not part with it oneself, or take it, against his will, from one's husband, without losing one's independence, one's self-respect--something, after all, priceless.” (93) For Mrs Dalloway, solitude is essential for one's existence and one's need for solitude should always be respected and never be deprived, even between wives and husbands. As a result, solitude plays a significant part in constituting one's self in Mrs Dalloway's case. Later on in the text, Mrs Dalloway also ponders over her choice of Richard Dalloway as her husband and attributes the reason to the need for solitude and independence. “she had been right...not to marry him. For in marriage a little licence, a little independence there must be between people living together day in day out in the same house; which Richard gave her, and she him...But with Peter everything had to be shared; everything gone into. And it was intolerable”. (10) Indeed, for Mrs Dalloway, lack of privacy and space for solitude is intolerable. Therefore, she chooses Richard Dalloway who gives her certain degree of freedom instead of…show more content…
Although she constantly arranges gatherings in her house and provides physical and mental support for her family members and guests, she is heavily burdened by her obligation as a woman at some points and attempts to retreat from social intercourse into solitude, where she nurtures her soul. “For now [Mrs Ramsay] need not think of anybody. She could be herself, by herself. And that was what now she often felt the need of - to think; well not even to think. To be silent; to be alone. All the being and the doing, expansive, glittering, vocal, evaporated; and one shrunk, with a sense of solemnity, to being oneself, a wedge-shaped core of darkness, something invisible to others... and this self having shed its attachments was free for the strangest adventures.” (69) This passage reveals that only in solitude, Mrs Ramsay's self is able to surface and

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