|저자||박은경||출처||제임스 조이스 저널||페이지|
|발행년도||2005년도||총||11권 1호||참조||제임스 조이스 저널|
Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway and the Political Space of London
Woolf’s modernist writing on London of the early 20th century in Mrs. Dalloway records a typical modern condition where the crowd in the city remains isolated and alienated without realizing the potential value of the city, that is, to achieve some connections and solidarity with other people. Observing various kinds of a walk taken by the characters in the London streets of this fiction, the first impression we receive is Woolf’s recognition of the irreducibility of the class division and the gender difference that reveals a precarious foothold for meaningful communications between diverse people in London. Although people seem to share common experiences, overcoming their own isolation, when they watch the same object in the streets, as exemplied in the episodes of the majestic car and the commercial airplane, this forgetting of their own affairs does not totally erase their alienated state in the modern city. Their diverse responses seem to reveal the ineradicable differences in class and gender, even if Woolf’s description of the urban scenes includes ignoble people, along with the protagonist Clarissa Dalloway and her upper-middle class family members and friends. Woolf appears, therefore, to share the male modernist conservative, and thus, pessimistic vision of the modern life in the city.
However, when examined closely, we notice that Woolf’s feminine receptivity catches more complex relationships between people, as we can find from the descriptions of a walk taken by female characters. If Elizabeth’s street haunting makes us anticipate a changed, more bright future for a woman, Clarissa’s street sauntering lays the foundation of her mysterious communion with the unknown person, Septimus Smith. Despite our suspicion of the distance maintained between Clarissa and Septimus because of the absence of their actual encounter in the streets, this very separation seems to found the uncanny liaison between them in Clarissa’s party. If the city of London appear to be the space of separation and difference in anonymity despite its possiblity of being a potential field for sharing experience, Clarissa’s home where her party is held seems to provide a place of true communication.
Yet, Clarissa’s house is not a haven that guarantees safety from the interruption of the streets; rather, the significance of Clarissa’s party lies in accepting the other from the streets into her home, however briefly might the mysterious and imaginary experience last. Furthermore, by suggesting the limitation of Clarissa’s party, that is, its impossibility of providing any idealistic space of absolute equality and unimpaired love, as intimated by Doris Kilman’s being excluded from the party, Woolf keenly notes the reality of the human beings in urban communities. Instead of affirming the dissolution of all the differences by romanticizing the unity among people, Woolf reveals the instability of the communication between the self and the other as well as of one’s own identity. By valuing the moments of sharing experience, and, at the same time, disrupting the utopian naive notion of community, Woolf rewrites the political significance of urban scenes, rejecting male modernists’s political pessimism and conservatism, with her feminine embrace of the dubious values of the streets as well as of home.
Key Word: Mrs. Dalloway, London streets, walk, communication, alienation, home, party (『댈러웨이 부인』, 현대 도시로서의 런던, 거리 헤매기, 의사소통의 문제, 소외, 집, 파티)