Manual The Case of Virginia Woolf

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Soldiers who committed suicide, abandoned their station, or disobeyed orders were often diagnosed with shell shock.

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She emphasizes the effect of the brutality of the First World War and the lack of effective treatment through Septimus' thoughts and experiences as well as those of his wife. Second, Woolf could take experiences from her own life and display her troubled existence and marriage through the eyes of Septimus. Finally, Woolf uses Septimus Smith to be a foreshadowing characteristic to her own demise in events to come. Not until the s did a true understanding of PTSD come about, and, with it, an insight into the lives of those who had it. Insufficient knowledge on the subject led to vague claims and questionable treatments.

When we first meet Septimus, we find him sitting in Regent Park with his wife Rezia. Rezia is contemplating a diagnosis Dr. With an unclear grasp on the situation, Rezia and Septimus are unable to fully communicate their experiences with those they love. Holmes might say there was nothing the matter. As a cure, Dr. Woolf sees doctors and their treatments in a similar way that she views human nature—brutish. An article by Karen Samuels speaks about the mistrust Woolf and Septimus faced because of their illness:.

His disarray eventually led to complications within his marriage. For Rezia, like Leonard with Virginia, maintaining a balanced mental state in Septimus took large portions of her time. By taking examples from her own life, Woolf better creates the character Septimus and the relationship he holds with Rezia. Woolf can embody such an image because she lived it herself. Finally, Woolf uses the character of Septimus to allude to eventual plans for her own life and suicide. After the anxiety and anticipation of another rest cure, Septimus jumps out his window and meets a quick end.

Virginia Woolf

Woolf uses this form of suicide because she too once thought of committing suicide by jumping out a window. In one of her journal entries, Woolf marvels at such a quick and abrupt ending with the ground rising up quickly and the body making a sudden stop. The suicide was not lived out in fear; instead, it was an understanding of different and limited perception that came about because of the war and because of mental illness. Although Clarissa and Septimus never meet in the novel, their paths do cross and the fate of one greatly impacts the other.

Dalloway there was no place for Septimus, and that Clarissa was intended to commit suicide at the end.

Virginia Woolf, neuroprogression, and bipolar disorder

Subsequently the story of Septimus was introduced and it is he, as Clarissa's double, who commits suicide. Dalloway , Clarissa Dalloway represents the fine line between sanity and insanity. This was a line that Woolf teetered back and forth upon throughout most of her own life.

enter site Clarissa, like Woolf, is a woman who enjoys her life and marriage but who is troubled by an eminent outcome that she foresees in her future. Dalloway" King As a character, Clarissa is meant to demonstrate much of the superficial views Woolf held herself as a young woman. Because Clarissa grows up rich and pampered, she needs not worry about troubling things such as manic-depression or shell shock. However, Clarissa is not immune to mental instability. Throughout the novel, Clarissa often questions if she is truly happy with her life.

Like Septimus' dichotomy between war and civilized society, Clarissa is torn by two views of how her life has progressed. On one hand, she could have married Peter Walsh; she may have been very happy with him in her life. On the other, she is married to Richard Dalloway. Richard is not as deep or insightful as Peter, but he represents a safety net that Clarissa finds appealing.

In either situation, she sees her eventual outcome to be like the old woman whose window is across from hers. Like Clarissa, the old lady is aware of the persuasive force of death, but she chooses life" King Even though Clarissa experiences minor pains such as headaches and anxiety questioning true purpose of her life, her true mental illness is not an innate part of herself. Like Woolf, Clarissa is often seen resting or caught up in affairs that pertain to superficial situations such as parties and evening dresses.

Clarissa experiences a brief mental breakdown when she learns of Septimus' death from Lady Bradshaw.

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Bradshaw disturbs her deeply. She goes into the little room adjoining the rooms where the party is being held.

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Here Clarissa experiences what for us, in the book, is her second moment of vision, of truth" Rachman. For Clarissa, death became "defiance. Death was an attempt to communicate; people feeling the impossibility of reaching the centre which, mystically, evaded them; closeness drew apart; rapture faded, one was alone" Woolf Here it is Septimus' mental illness that affects Clarissa in such a way that it can be made profound, but somehow, "it was her disaster--her disgrace" Woolf The ultimate realization Clarissa came to was a result of the young man who killed himself.

When Clarissa retires to imagine the ground flashing up to Septimus in moment of his death, the artistic and social elements of Woolf's character blends. All along Clarissa worried if she made the right choice or not when she married. In the end she realizes that her choice ultimately does not matter. She is alone in the world; she realized the vanity which she has created throughout her life through parties and appearances.

After her realization she, "Fear no more the heat of the sun. She felt somehow very like him--the young man who had killed himself.

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She felt glad that he had done it; thrown it away. He made her feel the beauty; made her feel the sun" Woolf In conclusion, by ending with defiance in the face of death, Woolf displays her own view of life, her meaning in it, and the role that death plays. Just as Clarissa's neighbor prepares for bed alone, Woolf realizes that ultimately she is alone in the world. Throughout her entire life she struggled with this concept.

By the end of her life, she has accepted it by making use of fictional scenarios and characters within her novels. Dalloway , Virginia Woolf relates her own manic-depressive life and chaotic marriage with the characters of Septimus Smith and Clarissa Dalloway. In it, Woolf suggests that misdiagnosis often caused harsher situations for those mentally ill. Marriage became a task the couples struggled with instead of being a road easily travelled.

Ultimately, though, Woolf's goal was to put meaning on her life and the struggle she endure throughout it.

Woolf find's meaning and alludes to it in the end of Mrs. Glendinning, 30 p. Craddock N, Sklar P. Genetics of bipolar disorder. Course of bipolar illness after history of childhood trauma. Childhood trauma, family history, and their association with mood disorders in early adulthood. Acta Psychiatr Scand. Areas of controversy in neuroprogression in bipolar disorder.

Caramagno TC. The flight of the Mind. Berkeley: University of California; Bennet M.

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Virginia Woolf and neuropsychiatry. Netherlands: Springer; Bell Q. Virginia Woolf: a biography. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich; Beard G. Neurasthenia, or nervous exhaustion. Boston Med Surg J. Taylor RE.