Mrs. Dalloway: Chapter 12 - Summary

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The Suicide of Septimus Warren Smith.

      When Elizabeth returns to home, black clouds appear in the sky. She looks at them and admires their beauty. Septimus Warren Smith also looks out lying in his room. But his feeling is entirely different. Septimus admires their hidden beauty and also reads a hidden meaning. He is talking about Mrs. Peter’s hat with his wife after so many days. He is speaking in a very jovial manner and both laugh on something. Rezia is overjoyed to find her husband like this, cracking fun privately like married people. He asks Rezia to try that hat on herself but suddenly he is again lost, starts in terror, and begins to hear the voices of the dead. He remembers what Brashaw had told them. He says that the people they were most fond of are not good in his illness. Septimus says that Bradshaw has no right to separate them. He asks Rezia to bring his papers and burn them. Those papers are his odes to Times, conversation with Shakespeare, his message from dead, universal love, meaning of the world, and such other meaningful writings. But instead of burning them Lucrezia ties them together is order to keep them away from his clutch. As she packs up other things, she hears some voices on downstr airs. Dr. Holmes has come to visit Septimus, she tries her best to prevent the doctor but he lays her aside and makes his way up.

      In the meantime, Septimus has heard their views and does not fail to understand that it is Dr. Holmes. He decides to get rid of the power that Dr. Holmes and Bradshaw are practicing on him. The only way to achieve freedom comes to Septimus’ mind is to end his life. But how to do it? He sees Mrs. Filmer's bread knife but does not want to spoil it. He thinks to shoot himself but he has no time to catch hold of gun. There was no razor because Rezia has packed everything that can be risky. There was only the window. As Holmes reaches the door of his room Septimus flings himself violently down on the railing with shouting, “I’ll give it to you.’’

      Dr. Holmes cries out, “The Coward” and opens the door vigorously. Rezia’ runs to the window and understands everything. Dr. Holmes gives her something to drink and she falls asleep. It was six’s clock in the evening when Septimus has committed suicide.
Peter Walsh is on his way to his hotel and an ambulance carrying Septimus’ dead body passes by him. Everybody makes way to let the ambulance pass and Peter regards it “as one of the triumphs of civilization.”

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