sexta-feira, 20 de abril de 2012

'Mrs. Dalloway': the religion of the modern cities [2]

In the previous post, I have called Clarissa Dalloway as "probably the main character of the book", because, like other features, it is not so easy to affirm anything about the book. How I have said before, everything is about appearance, meaning there is something bellow this surface you need to know better.

Clarissa clearly leads the book in two different stages: in the beginning and in the end. In between, there are several others characters which the author, Virginia Woolf, visits to show how they think or see London, this, maybe the real protagonist of the work - at least, the only one that shows up at almost every page.

Among this cast there is Septimus Warren Smith, which I have read being called as the owner of the other main role. Septimus and Clarissa never meet each other, and only in the end Clarissa is informed about Septimus' destiny, although, in some way, they are strictly connected, since the beginning. This happens in different forms, but one in specific is important, or, represent what I am writing: they despise religion.

If Clarissa is from the upper classes, and, thus, she thinks herself as the vanguard of the society, therefore, there should be no space in her mind of heart for a traditional god, as it was common in the past among member of the elite, Septimus is a soldier who has just come back from the World War I, and has never believed in any creed. Moreover, he is completely disappointed with the progress of the science, which has just created more efficient murdering machines. As one of my friends has said to me a long time ago, the World War II has buried the indiscrimated believe in the science, as the answer for all of our question. I would add the WWI had already started this process.
But they beckoned; leaves were alive; trees were alive. And the leaves being connected by millions of fibres with his own body, there on the seat, fanned it up and down; when the branch stretched he, too, made that statement. The sparrows fluttering, rising, and falling in jagged fountains were part of the pattern; the white and blue, barred with black branches. Sounds made harmonies with premeditation; the spaces between them were as significant as the sounds. A child cried. Rightly far away a horn sounded. All taken together meant the birth of a new religion— [16]
The idyllic vision of Septimus is interrupted, his perception of the nature almost intact, is fulfilled, or better, contaminated. First, with the cry of a child. Then, with a horn; a horn from, we can imagine, a car; a car, the symbol of the modern city. The last sentence, his conclusion: "All taken together meant the birth of a new religion". The nature is not any more untouched.

[To be continued...]

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