Mrs. and religion can be the cruelest things

Mrs. Dalloway begins with Clarissa planning to buy the flowers for her party and the story shifts from the present to the past: “Immediately we are jolted by the sudden shift from present to past, the reader is made aware that Woolf is dispensing of traditional narrative techniques… trying to realistically recreate the inner thoughts of a character” (notesfromzembla). Through the distortion in time, the characters’ personality is being shaped. After all, the person who they became now is  shaped based on how the person grew up throughout the years. The narration of the story in Mrs. Dalloway is in a span of one day but through the memories of Clarissa and Septimus, it brings the audience to a more vivid setting. Throughout this day, the readers are able to take a hint of the memories of Clarissa and Septimus in which the stream of consciousness reveals through past encounters. There are certain things such as a scent, an object or a person that triggers memories bringing the person back in time. Clarissa throughout the day keeps on having flashbacks of her eighteen year old self in the summer in Bourton where she spend most of her time with Peter and Sally.  The memory of Sally is triggered by Doris Kilman who is Elizabeth Dalloway’s closest confidant. She sees the relationship between Miss Kilman and Elizabeth to be something more than friendship. The thought of this brings her to think of her past relationship with Sally Seton. “Then came the most exquisite moment of her whole life passing a stone urn with flowers in it. Sally stopped; picked a flower; kissed her on the lips. The whole world might have turned upside down!” (Woolf 52) Clarissa treasures the memories she shared with Sally especially when they kissed for it is one of the best moments in her life. Clarissa pondered on her views about how love and religion can be the cruelest things in the world. It is obvious how Clarissa dislikes religion, and Miss Kilman luring Elizabeth to attend religious classes makes her really mad. Clarissa has little faith in anything but only in her own social gratification. Despite having her own lesbian attraction during her youth, she lacks sympathy for what her daughter and Miss Kilman potentially have because she does not approve of it. Being all grown up, she believes in being a lady and having appropriate manners and gestures according to her social class. In the book, it also states that Miss Kilman is from a lower social class in which adds to Clarissa’s disapprovement of the relationship.