Mrs. Dalloway: Chapter 8 - Summary

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Dr. Bradshaw and his Diagnosis of Septimus Abnormality.

      The Big Ben strikes twelve o’clock when Rezia and Septimus reach Dr. William Bradshaw on Harley street. Dr. Bradshaw is the son of a rich man. He has an expensive car. He has a son at Eton. Sir William Bradshaw is not young. He is often made the chief guest at ceremonies and given high respect. “All of which had by the time he was knighted, given him a heavy look, a weary look (the stream of patients being so incessant, the responsibilities and privileges of his profession so onerous), which weariness, together with his grey hairs, increased the extraordinary distinction of his presence and gave him the reputation (of the utmost importance in dealing with nerve cases) not merely of lighting skill and a almost infallible accuracy in diagnosis, but of sympathy, tact, understanding of the human soul.” Sir William diagnoses Septimus case as serious. “Complete physical and nervous breakdown, with every symptom in advanced stage.” He gets from Rezia the information that her husband wants to kill himself. After that he recommends that Septimus must go to a delightful home in the country far from Rezia. Dr. William recommends balance which has become his infallible instinct. Mr. William worships proportion and conversion as well. He is a man of quick and firm decisions. He has the habit of imposing his will on others. He has imposed it on Lady Bradshaw and now she acts according to his will and thus as a consequence feels her life boring. Dr. Bradshaw is the master of his own action. His patients have to submit themselves to him, there are some who have broken down, who weep and sob but call him a humbug. He is, however, praised for his energy, decision and self-confidence by the friends and relatives of his patients. His life is too good and it is all due to his sense of proportion. He is the product of spiritual apathy, a very materialist who is obsessed with money and prosperity; power and self.

      Thus, there are some who do not like Mr. William, and Rezia is one of them because he wanted to separate her from her husband and it is intolerable for her. She returns home in great anguish.

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