Mrs. Dalloway Quotes

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Mrs. Dalloway Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
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Mrs. Dalloway Quotes (showing 31-60 of 225)
“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.”
Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway
“Nothing could be slow enough, nothing lasts too long. No pleasure could equal, she thought, straightening the chairs, pushing in one book on the shelf, this having done with the triumphs of youth, lost herself in the process of living, to find it with a shock of delight, as the sun rose, as the day sank. Many a time had she gone, at Barton when they were all talking, to look at the sky; seen it between peoples shoulders at dinner; seen it in London when she could not sleep. She walked to the window.”
Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway
“Human beings have neither kindness, nor faith, nor charity beyond what serves to increase the pleasure of the moment.”
Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway
“She would not say of any one in the world that they were this or were that. She felt very young; at the same time unspeakably aged. She sliced like a knife through everything; at the same time was outside, looking on. She had a perpetual sense, as she watched the taxi cabs, of being out, far out to the sea and alone; she always had the feeling that it was very, very dangerous to live even one day. Not that she thought herself clever, or much out of the ordinary. How she had got through life on the few twigs of knowledge Fraulein Daniels gave them she could not think. She knew nothing; no language, no history; she scarcely read a book now, except memoirs in bed; and yet to her it was absolutely absorbing; all this; the cabs passing; and she would not say of Peter, she would not say of herself, I am this, I am that.”
Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway
“One might fancy that day, the London day, was just beginning. Like a woman who had slipped off her print dress and white apron to array herself in blue and pearls, the day changed, put off stuff, took gauze, changed to evening, and with the same sigh of exhilaration that a woman breathes, tumbling petticoats on the floor, it too shed dust, heat, colour; the traffic thinned; motor cars, tinkling, darting, succeeded the lumber of vans; and here and there among the thick foliage of the squares an intense light hung. I resign, the evening seemed to say, as it paled and faded above the battlements and prominences, moulded, pointed, of hotel, flat, and block of shops, I fade, she was beginning. I disappear, but London would have none of it, and rushed her bayonets into the sky, pinioned her, constrained her to partnership in her revelry.”
Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway
“Still, life had a way of adding day to day”
Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway
“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.”
Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway
“But the close withdrew: the hand softened. It was over-- the moment.”
Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway
“For the young people could not talk. And why should they? Shout, embrace, swing, be up at dawn...”
Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway
“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 easily…he could add up his bill; his brain was perfect; it must be the fault of the world then- that he could not feel.”
Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway
“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.”
Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway
“Love and religion! thought Clarissa, going back into the drawing room, tingling all over. How detestable, how detestable they are!”
Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway
“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.”
Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway
“Quiet descended on her, calm, content, as her needle, drawing the silk smoothly to its gentle pause, collected the green folds together and attached them, very lightly, to the belt. So on a summer’s day waves collect, overbalance, and fall; collect and fall; and the whole world seems to be saying “that is all” more and more ponderously, until even the heart in the body which lies in the sun on the beach says too, That is all. Fear no more, says the heart. Fear no more, says the heart, committing its burden to some sea, which sighs collectively for all sorrows, and renews, begins, collects, lets fall. And the body alone listens to the passing bee; the wave breaking; the dog barking, far away barking and barking.”
Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway
“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.”
Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway
“When people are happy they have a reserve upon which to draw, whereas she was like a wheel without a tyre”
Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway
“Once you fall, Septimus repeated to himself, human nature is on you. Holmes and Bradshaw are on you. They scour the desert. They fly screaming into the wilderness. The rack and the thumbscrew are applied. Human nature is remorseless.”
Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway
“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.”
Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway
“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.”
Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway
“for women live much more in the past...they attach themselves to places;”
Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway
“Effort ceases. Time flaps on the mast. There we stop; there we stand. Rigid, the skeleton of habit alone upholds the human frame”
Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway
“Come along,' she said. 'They're waiting.'
He had never felt so happy in the whole of his life! Without a word they made it up. They walked down to the lake. He had twenty minutes of perfect happiness. Her voice, her laugh, her dress (something floating, white, crimson), her spirit, her adventurousness; she made them all disembark and explore the island; she startled a hen; she laughed; she sang. And all the time, he knew perfectly well, Dalloway was falling in love with her; she was falling in love with Dalloway; but it didn't seem to matter. Nothing mattered. They sat on the ground and talked-he and Clarissa. They went in and out of each other's minds without any effort. And then in a second it was over. He said to himself as they were getting into the boat, 'She will marry that man,' dully, without any resentment; but it was an obvious thing. Dalloway would marry Clarissa.”
Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway
“The cold stream of visual impressions failed him now as if the eye were a cup that overflowed and let the rest run down its china walls unrecorded.”
Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway
“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...”
Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway
“For the truth is (let her ignore it) that human beings have neither kindness, nor faith, nor charity beyond what serves to increase the pleasure of the moment.”
Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway
“Such are the visions which ceaselessly float up, pace beside, put their faces in front of, the actual thing; often overpowering the solitary traveller and taking away from him the sense of the earth, the wish to return, and giving him for substitute a general peace, as if (so he thinks as he advances down the forest ride) all this fever of living were simplicity itself; and myriads of things merged in one thing; and this figure, made of sky and branches as it is, had risen from the troubled sea (he is elderly, past fifty now) as a shape might be sucked up out of the waves to shower down from her magnificent hands, compassion, comprehension, absolution. So, he thinks, may I never go back to the lamplight; to the sitting-room; never finish my book; never knock out my pipe; never ring for Mrs. Turner to clear away; rather let me walk on to this great figure, who will, with a toss of her head, mount me on her streamers and let me blow to nothingness with the rest.”
Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway
“For she was a child, throwing bread to the ducks, between her parents who stood by the lake, holding her life in her arms which, as she neared them, grew larger and larger in her arms, until it became a whole life, a complete life, which she put down by them and said, "This is what I have made of it! This!" And what had she made of it? What, indeed?”
Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway
“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.”
Virginia Woolf, Mrs Dalloway
“Death was defiance. Death was an attempt to communicate; people feeling the impossibility of reaching the center which, mystically, evaded them; closeness drew apart; rapture faded, one was alone. There was an embrace in death.”
Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway
“I often wish I'd got on better with your father,' he said.
But he never liked anyone who--our friends,' said Clarissa; and could have bitten her tongue for thus reminding Peter that he had wanted to marry her.
Of course I did, thought Peter; it almost broke my heart too, he thought; and was overcome with his own grief, which rose like a moon looked at from a terrace, ghastly beautiful with light from the sunken day. I was more unhappy than I've ever been since, he thought. And as if in truth he were sitting there on the terrace he edged a little towards Clarissa; put his hand out; raised it; let it fall. There above them it hung, that moon. She too seemed to be sitting with him on the terrace, in the moonlight.”
Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway

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