USF St. Petersburg campus Honors Program Theses (Undergraduate)


Neal Catalano

First Advisor

Thesis Director: Dr. Thomas Hallock Associate Professor, College of Arts and Sciences

Second Advisor

Thesis Committee Member: Dr. Herschel Conner Associate Professor, College of Arts and Sciences


University of South Florida St. Petersburg

Document Type


Date Available


Publication Date


Date Issued



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.


A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the University Honors Program University of South Florida Saint Petersburg

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