Virginia Woolf’s “Mrs. Dalloway” Quotes (56 Quotes)




    The impetuous creature--a pirate--started forward, sprang away; she had to hold the rail to steady herself, for a pirate it was, reckless, unscrupulous, bearing down ruthlessly, circumventing dangerously, boldly snatching a passenger, or ignoring a passenger, squeezing eel-like and arrogant in between, and then rushing insolently all sails spread up Whitehall.

    For this is the truth about our soul, he thought, who fish-like inhabits deep seas and plies among obscurities threading her way between the boles of giant weeds, over sun-flickered spaces and on and on into gloom, cold, deep, inscrutable; suddenly she shoots to the surface and sports on the wind-wrinkled waves; that is, has a positive need to brush, scrape, kindle herself, gossiping.




    Half the time she did things not simply, not for themselves; but to make people think this or that; perfect idiocy she knew for no one was ever for a second taken in.



    He thought her beautiful, believed her impeccably wise; dreamed of her, wrote poems to her, which, ignoring the subject, she corrected in red ink...



    After that, how unbelievable death was! - that is must end; and no one in the whole world would know how she had loved it all.

    He was a thorough good sort; a bit limited; a bit thick in the head; yes; but a thorough good sort. Whatever he took up he did in the same matter-of-fact sensible way; without a touch of imagination, without a sparkle of brilliancy, but with the inexplicable niceness of his type.

    One cannot bring children into a world like this. One cannot perpetuate suffering, or increase the breed of these lustful animals, who have no lasting emotions, but only whims and vanities, eddying them now this way, now that.


    And it was awfully strange, he thought, how she still had the power, as she came tinkling, rustling, still had the power as she came across the room, to make the moon, which he detested, rise at Bourton on the terrace in the summer sky.


    Peter would think her sentimental. So she was. For she had come to feel that it was the only thing worth saying - what one felt. Cleverness was silly. One must say simply what one felt.



    Her only gift was knowing people almost by instinct, she thought, walking on. If you put her in a room with someone, up went her back like a cat's; or she purred.

    She belonged to a different age, but being so entire, so complete, would always stand up on the horizon, stone-white, eminent, like a lighthouse marking some past stage on this adventurous, long, long voyage, this interminable --- this interminable life.

    Well, I've had my fun; I've had it, he thought, looking up at the swinging baskets of pale geraniums. And it was smashed to atoms-his fun, for it was half made up, as he knew very well; invented, this escapade with the girl; made up, as one makes up the better part of life, he thought-making onself up; making her up; creating an exquisite amusement, and something more. But odd it was, and quite true; all this one could never share-it smashed to atoms.

    And there is a dignity in people; a solitude; even between husband and wife a gulf; and that one must respect, thought Clarissa, watching him open the door; 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.

    His wife was crying, and he felt nothing; only each time she sobbed in this profound, this silent, this hopeless way, he descended another step into the pit.

    She came into a room; she stood, as he had often seen her, in a doorway with lots of people round her. But it was Clarissa one remembered. Not that she was striking; not beautiful at all; there was nothing picturesque about her; she never said anything specially clever; there she was however; there she was.


    And there rose in her an unmastering desire to overcome her; to unmask her. If she could have felled her it would have eased her. But it was not the body; it was the soul and its mockery that she wished to subdue; make feel her mastery.


    She had a right to his arm, though it was without feeling. He would give her, who was so simple, so impulsive, only twenty-four, without friends in England, who had left Italy for his sake, a piece of bone.


    But he could not taste, he could not feel. In the teashop among the tables and the chattering waiters the appalling fear came over him- he could not feel. He could reason; he could read, Dante for example, quite easilyàhe could add up his bill; his brain was perfect; it must be the fault of the world then- that he could not feel.


    She had influenced him more than any person he had ever known. And always in this way coming before him without his wishing it, cool, ladylike, critical; or ravishing, romantic..



    It rasped her, though, to have stirring about in her this brutal monster! to hear twigs cracking and feel hooves planted down in the depths of that leaf-encumbered forest, the soul; never to be content quite, or quite secure, for at any moment the brute would be stirring, this hatred...

    She had read a wonderful play about a man who scratched on the wall of his cell and she had felt that was true of life - one scratched on the wall.




    She thought there were no Gods; no one was to blame; and so she evolved this atheist's religion of doing good for the sake of goodness.

    You were given a sharp, acute, uncomfortable grain..; yet in absence, in the most unlikely places, it would flower out, open, shed its scent, let you touch, taste, look about you, get the whole feel of it and understanding, after years of lying lost.

    Did it matter then, she asked herself, walking towards Bond Street, did it matter that she must inevitably cease completely? All this must go on without her; did she resent it; or did it not become consoling to believe that death ended absolutely?



    Fear no more, says the heart, committing its burden to some sea, which sighs collectively for all sorrows, and renews, begins, collects, lets fall

    Love and religion! thought Clarissa, going back into the drawing room, tingling all over. How detestable, how detestable they are!

    Straightening himself and stealthily fingering his pocket-knife he started after her to follow this woman, this excitement, which seemed even with its back turned to shed on him a light which connected them, which singled him out, as if the random uproar of the traffic had whispered through hallowed hands his name, not Peter, but his private name which he called himself in his own thoughts.


    More Virginia Woolf Quotations (Based on Topics)


    Mind - Life - World - Woman - Thought & Thinking - Man - People - Time - Literature - Sense & Perception - Soul - Body - Love - Emotions - Truth - Poetry - Sadness - Water - Books - View All Virginia Woolf Quotations

    More Virginia Woolf Quotations (By Book Titles)


    - Mrs. Dalloway
    - Orlando
    - To the Lighthouse

    Related Authors


    Zig Ziglar - Shakti Gawain - Mark Twain - Henry David Thoreau - George Orwell - C. S. Lewis - Robert Fitzgerald - Michael Crichton - James Allen - Ian Fleming


Page 1 of 2 1 2

Authors (by First Name)

A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - J - K - L - M
N - O - P - Q - R - S - T - U - V - W - X - Y - Z

Other Inspiring Sections

Login to your account below

Fill the forms bellow to register

Retrieve your password

Please enter your username or email address to reset your password.