"Mrs. Dalloway" and 20th Century Paradigm Shifts
An analysis of Virginia Woolf's "Mrs Dalloway" in terms of the prevailing scientific paradigms in the age of Sigmund Freud and Albert Einstein.
# 61519 | 863 words | 0 sources | 2003 |
Published on Oct 10, 2005 in Literature (English) , English (Analysis) , Psychology (General) , Communication (General)
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Throughout the course of history, science has deeply influenced other aspects of culture. Revolutions in scientific research parallel new world views. Most importantly, new physical understandings of nature necessitate novel forms of expression in everyday society. In the early twentieth century, Sigmund Freud and Albert Einstein revolutionized society's notion of reality by sending shockwaves into many non-scientific fields. The paper shows that, in turn, this directly impacted commonly held world views. In 1925, Virginia Woolf published "Mrs. Dalloway", a novel which incorporates both Freud's and Einstein's new theories of reality in its stream of consciousness presentation.
From the Paper:"Einstein's notion that measurements of time, space, and mass are relative to the individual observer's space-time reference frame lead to society's conclusion of the relativity of truth. In Woolf's time, everything became relative due to the impact of Einstein's theory of relativity. As a consequence, the characters in Mrs. Dalloway present reality through their own subconscious interpretations as what is true for one observer will not always be true for another observer in a separate frame of reference. This device of multiple perspectives in Woolf's writing corresponds to the postulate in relativity that space and time measurements for one observer will not be the same as for another moving in relation to the first."
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