Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Virginia Woolf and the Common(wealth) Reader$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Helen Wussow and Mary Ann Gillies

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780989082679

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9780989082679.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 21 September 2021

Proportion, Conversion, Transition

Proportion, Conversion, Transition

War Trauma and Sites of Healing in Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway and Leslie Marmon Silko’s Ceremony

(p.190) Proportion, Conversion, Transition
Virginia Woolf and the Common(wealth) Reader

Kristin Czarnecki

Liverpool University Press

This chapter presents a reading of Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway and Leslie Marmon Silko's Ceremony. These novels depict the trauma suffered by two male veterans of war: Septimus Warren Smith, an English veteran of the First World War, and Tayo, a Laguna Pueblo man who fought in the Pacific Islands during World War Two. Both young men return from war psychologically and emotionally shattered. Each has witnessed the brutal death of a man he loved; each suffers from flashbacks and hallucinations; each contends with guilt and self-accusations; and each confronts doctors unable or unwilling to administer proper treatment. Both characters also have disorienting urban experiences and sense a fraught connection with the natural world. Complicating their trauma is their inability to fulfill Western culture's proscribed gender roles. The books share stylistic similarities in their shifts in space, time, and perspective—anti-authoritarian narrative modes that help develop their comparable themes. They also strive to reject the witchery and highlight feminine principles as keys to psychological and cultural health. The novels diverge, however, when Septimus commits suicide and Tayo begins to heal after re-immersing himself in Laguna culture and accepting his biracial identity.

Keywords:   Virginia Woolf, Leslie Marmon Silo, veterans, trauma, Septimus Warren Smith, Tayo, gender role

Liverpool Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.