Date of Completion


Document Type

Honors College Thesis



Thesis Type

Honors College, College of Arts and Science Honors

First Advisor

Tom Simone


Woolf, Joyce, Mrs. Dalloway, Ulysses


James Joyce and Virginia Woolf might retroactively be associated as allies in psychological realism, but Woolf’s response to Joyce’s Ulysses was complex. This thesis studies and contextualizes her response, revealing how Woolf encountered, wrestled with, and went beyond Ulysses. It attempts to resolve differing scholarly views by examining her reactions in her diaries, letters, reading notes, and essays, and by proposing a reading of Mrs. Dalloway as Woolf’s creative response to Ulysses. Contextualizing her response shows how gender, class, social relations, and personal traumas are related to Woolf’s experience of Ulysses and confidence as a writer. These challenges informed her response to Ulysses and her writing of Mrs. Dalloway. Ultimately, Woolf appreciated Joyce’s attempt at psychological realism, but felt that his book failed. In Mrs. Dalloway, Woolf adopted the imperatives that Ulysses inspired, but went beyond Ulysses as she perfected her composed style and wrote the perspective of a woman.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.