Thesis Director: Dr. Thomas Hallock Associate Professor, College of Arts and Sciences
Thesis Committee Member: Dr. Herschel Conner Associate Professor, College of Arts and Sciences
University of South Florida St. Petersburg
Virginia Woolf’s novels posit a view of a self and world that is constantly in flux. This thesis explores Woolf’s novels Mrs. Dalloway, To the Lighthouse, and The Waves, tracing the development of themes such as selfhood, impermanence, and individual meaning, and strives to show how they are presented and intertwined in Woolf’s fiction. The thesis focuses on characters in Woolf’s works and how they strive for balance in their lives between inhabiting a self and being constrained by it. I explore how characters’ ideas of themselves as individuals give rise to the kinds of meaning they find in their lives. Further, I argue that those characters who can embrace a more fluid, broader definition of selfhood – one in which the boundaries between one life and another are called into question – are better equipped to deal with life’s impermanence and the creation of a meaningful existence.
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Catalano, Neal, "Beyond the Self: Identity, Impermanence, and the Meanings of Life in the Novels of Virginia Woolf" (2016). USF St. Petersburg campus Honors Program Theses (Undergraduate).