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Woolf's AmbiguitiesTonal Modernism, Narrative Strategy, Feminist Precursors$
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Molly Hite

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781501714450

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501714450.001.0001

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The Professional and the Poet

The Professional and the Poet

A Dark Lantern and Mrs. Dalloway

(p.134) Chapter 6 The Professional and the Poet
Woolf's Ambiguities

Molly Hite

Cornell University Press

This chapter begins from an unusual polemical passage in Mrs. Dalloway that leaves readers with no doubt about how to judge the oppressive nerve doctor who prescribes a “rest cure,” driving his patient to suicide. Robins reversed these values in her 1905 novel A Dark Lantern, which Woolf reviewed when recovering from a suicide attempt and rest cure. A Dark Lantern is a steamy post-traumatic romance in which a young woman psychically shattered by attempted rape is restored to agency and sexual health by her seductively overbearing doctor. The novels give disparate values to the rising professional class and provide radically opposed pictures of the relation between mental health and art.

Keywords:   A Dark Lantern, Mrs. Dalloway, doctor, rest cure, trauma, professional, class

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