The Symbolism of Heart Trouble in Literature Comparison Essay by RightRiters

The Symbolism of Heart Trouble in Literature
This paper discusses how Ford Madox Ford and Virgina Woolf used characters with heart trouble in their novels "The Good Soldier" and "Mrs. Dalloway."
# 23488 | 1,370 words | 1 source | MLA | 2002 | US
Published on Jan 27, 2003 in Literature (American) , Literature (English) , English (Comparison)

$19.95 Buy and instantly download this paper now


This paper compares and contrasts how the symbolic use of heart trouble by Ford Madox Ford in "The Good Soldier "and Virginia Woolf in "Mrs. Dalloway" impacted upon the characters' development in both novels. In "The Good Soldier" the main characters both fake heart trouble in order to gain independence and isolate themselves from their respective spouses, who ironically, suffer from heart disease. In "Mrs. Dalloway" the protagonist's heart trouble is only mentioned occasionally. Her sickness occurs against the backdrop of WWI England in order to illustrate how both her illness and the war have changed everything for her. Heart trouble is used to highlight the themes of detachment and isolation in both stories where the main characters are not in tune with the reality of their lives or surroundings.

From the Paper:

"The irony is that the real 'heart trouble' belongs not to the characters who claim it in the novel, but to the people to whom they are wed. Leonora sees and knows all that Edward does and suffers from it incredibly: both physically on their impoverished estate and emotionally. John, however, is the real character with heart trouble and as the novel progresses we come to understand that he is entirely passionless. John is a man without a heart, unable to feel reproach for Edward, sympathy for Leonora, or even pity for himself. We come to see that he is fully aware of Florence's romantic liaisons and that, though he feels no jealousy or anger, he willfully uses her heart trouble to isolate her from any kind of joy. As it develops, it becomes clear that John uses their marriage as a means of getting back at Florence for trying to use him."

Cite this Comparison Essay:

APA Format

The Symbolism of Heart Trouble in Literature (2003, January 27) Retrieved June 06, 2020, from

MLA Format

"The Symbolism of Heart Trouble in Literature" 27 January 2003. Web. 06 June. 2020. <>