Tingting Li


Virginia Woolf is one of the most influential novelists in British literature and also one of the pioneers who leads the trend of literary modernism. Just as artists engaged in Cubic painting and sculpture in the same developmental period, such modern novelists as Virginia Woolf were keenly aware of the significant influence of space on their artistic creation. Therefore, this essay tries to explore the interrelation between men and space through analyzing Woolf’s modernist masterpiece—Mrs. Dalloway. Focusing on Clarissa Dalloway and Septimus Warren Smith, this essay aims to interpret how they struggle against bodily oppressions, namely the restraints and controls imposed on the individual body by the external space, and how they make an effort to interact with space as a way out. Clarissa’s interaction with space involves her participation in constructing urban space through walking, directly affecting the external space; at the same time, urban space also affects her internal space by cheering her up when she walks in the city. And as for Septimus, he integrates into space by committing suicide so that his flesh is eventually decomposed to dust and returns to nature. By analyzing all those, this essay tries to argue that modern society not only makes people suffer from spatial oppression but also offers new opportunities and development prospects, enabling people to liberate themselves from numerous oppressions and create positive integration and communication with their surrounding space, which finally reaches a balanced state.


Mrs. Dalloway; bodily Oppression; Interaction

Full Text:



Bachelard, Gaston. (1964). The Poetics of Space. (1958). Trans. Maria Jolas. New York: The Orion Press.

Ching-fang. (2006). “The Flaneur, the Flaneuse, and the Hostess: Virginia Woolf’s (Un)Domesticating Flanerie in Mrs. Dalloway”, Tseng Literary and Cultural Studies 32.1:219-58.

De Certearu, Michel. (1984). The Practice of Everyday Life. Trans. Steven Randall. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Foucault, Michel. (1986). “Of Other Spaces.” Trans. Jay Miskowiec. Diacritics 16.1: 22-25.

Galutskikh, Iryna. (2014). “V. Woolf’s Literary Interpretation of the Body without Limits: A Conceptual Study”. Athens Journal of Philology. 1.3: 183-195.

Lefebvre, Henri. (1991). The production of space. Trans. Donald, Nicholson-Smith. Oxford: Blackwell.

Merleau-Ponty, Maurice. (1996). Phenomenology of perception. Trans. Colin Smilth. London: Gallimard.

Pile, Steve. (1996). The Body and the City. USA and Canada: Rouledge.

San, Youngjoo. (2013). Here and Now: The Politics of Social Space in D.H Lawrence and Virginia Woolf. New York& London: Routledge.

Snaith Anna, Michael H. Whitworth, eds. (2007). Locating Woolf: The Politics of Space and Place. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Squier, Susan Merrill. (2017). Virginia Woolf and London: The sexual politics of the city. UNC Press Books.

Tambling, Jeremy. (1989). “Repression in Mrs. Dalloway’s London.” Essays in Criticism 39.2: 137-155.

Thacker, Andrew. (2009). Moving Through Modernity. New York: Manchester University Press.

Thomas, Sue. (1987). “Virginia Woolf’s Septimus Smith and Contemporary Perceptions of Shell Shock.” English Language Notes 25.2: 49-57.

Woolf, Virginia. (1924). Mr. Bennett and Mrs. Brown, London: The Hogarth Press.

Woolf, Virginia. (1980). The Diary of Virginia Woolf, Volume Two: 1920-1924. New York: Harcourt Brace.

Woolf, Virginia. (1981). The Diary of Virginia Woolf, Volume Three: 1925-1930. London: Hogarth Press.

Woolf, Virginia. (1996). Mrs. Dalloway. London: Wordsworth Classics.

Woolf, Virginia. (2004). A Room of One’s Own. London: Penguin Books Ltd.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Annual International Conference on Language and Literature (AICLL)

Universitas Islam Sumatera Utara
Website :
Email :

Lisensi Creative Commons

Annual International Conference on Language and Literature (AICLL) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License