The first sound we hear every morning is the sound of a bell. Just then we know that a new day is about to begin.
Time quickly passes, so no one can be indifferent when a belltolls. Every life can be connected with this simple sound. Every history is just that: time.
In Mrs. Dalloway we have several characters living the same day in the same location, surrounded by commonpeople, but they are mainly separated by different events that enclosed their lives (or their inner lives). That moment —a Wednesday in mid-June, 1923— symbolizes both past and present taking placesimultaneously, with no chapters that can tell us when something starts or when it finishes. So there is one thing that is perceived by everyone: The Big Ben.
II. The leaden circles dissolved in theair
The clock sounds and every character can hear it; but most importantly, they all can feel it in a unique manner, breaking the waves of their lives.
These sounds , described as “leadencircles dissolved in the air”, serves as a warning sign, as a sense of death hovering around every character and reminding us of the transitory nature of life.
“There! Out it boomed. First a warning,musical; then the hour, irrevocable. The leaden circles dissolved in the air.” (page 6, line 6)
This warning can be seen more clearly at the end of the book when the clock finally stops forSeptimus, but at the same time, a new view of life was about to start.
“The clock began striking. The young man had killed himself; but she did not pity him; with the clock striking the hour, one, two,three, she did not pity him (…) Fear no more the heat of the sun. She must go back to them. But what an extraordinary night! She felt somehow very like him—the young man who had killed himself. She feltglad that he had done it; thrown it away. The clock was striking. The leaden circles dissolved in the air.” (page 165)
“Fear no more the heat of the sun” is one of the final lessons. Virginia...