Woolf committed suicide by drowning, sixteen years after the publication of Mrs Dalloway. Shell shock, or post traumatic stress disorder , is an important addition to the early 20th century canon of post-war British literature. Woolf laid out some of her literary goals with the characters of Mrs Dalloway while still working on the novel. An illiterate, underbred book it seems to me: She hears about Septimus' suicide at the party and gradually comes to admire this stranger's act, which she considers an effort to preserve the purity of his happiness. A year before its publication, she gave a talk at Cambridge University called "Character in Fiction," revised and retitled later that year as "Mr. Kennard is one to note Septimus' "increasing revulsion at the idea of heterosexual sex," abstaining from sex with Rezia and feeling that "the business of copulation was filth to him before the end. The overwhelming presence of the passing of time and the impending fate of death for each of the characters is felt throughout the novel. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. Both hallucinate that birds sing in Greek , and Woolf once attempted to throw herself out of a window as Septimus does. Using the characters of Clarissa and Rezia, she makes the argument that people can only interpret Septimus' shell shock according to their cultural norms. Her use of Septimus as the stereotypically traumatised veteran is her way of showing that there were still reminders of the First World War in London in Peter reintroduces these conflicts by paying a visit that morning. A constant stream of consciousness from the characters, especially Clarissa, can serve as a distraction from this passing of time and ultimate march towards death but each character has a constant reminder of the inevitability of these facts. Like Clarissa, he places great importance on his place in society. Dalloway's "double" did not appear at all. Themes[ edit ] The novel has two main narrative lines involving two separate characters Clarissa Dalloway and Septimus Smith ; within each narrative there is a particular time and place in the past that the main characters keep returning to in their minds.