Septimus Smith is a complex character who is not easily understood. He went to war in order to defend his country, in an attempt to exert his masculine, protective traits, but he came up short. During the duration of the book, Septimus seems to be on an emotional rollercoaster. He moves around from being contentedly happy with his circumstances, then goes on to feel anxious and fearful. Septimus Smith was introduced into the novel on page 14. Woolf writes, ” Septimus Warren Smith, aged about thirty, pale-faced, beak- nosed, wearing brown shoes and a shabby overcoat, with hazel eyes which had that look of apprehension in them which makes strangers apprehensive too.” On page 15, Spetimus first says “I will kill myself” in a crowd that had gathered from the noise of the motorcar, and seemingly no one noticed, but that was the first hint that Septimus was on the aforementioned emotional rollercoaster. Smith’s wife says that she had a “right to his arm, though it was without feeling.” This elaborates upon Septimus’ lack of connection to those around him, and his emotionally distant persona. The was had changed Septimus, which is apparent on page 22. Woolf writes that Rezia, who was attemping to get Septimus’ attention, thought ot herself “And it was cowardly for a man to say he would kill himself, but Septimus had fought; he was brave; he was not Septimus now.” Through this excerpt the reader realizes that Septimus is a changed man from before the war. Rezia believes him to be brave, and a changed man from the war. Throughout the book, the reader realizes that Septimus insists on having no one have power over him. He is an independent being. Rezia realizes, early on in the book, that Septimus is happy without her. He does not rely on her for happiness, and thus is independent in that aspect. He is also independent in that he does not allow Bradshaw to use him for experimentation, he does not allow anyone to have power over him. Septimus is also unable to feel. This is elaborated upon by Rezia’s claim that his arm had no feeling. Septimus is scared by his lack of feeling, but that may be an overstatement, because he never faces it, and never gives it enough thought to truly attempt to feel again. The first time that Rezia ever understands her husband is when he commits suicide. She understands why he did it, and she had witnessed the turmoil that he lived in. Septimus also refuses to give up his soul. His last words, “I’ll give it to you,” show Holmes that Septimus is going to give his body to the doctor, but he leaps out to preserve his body, and to preserve his privacy.
LCC 3843: Digital HumanitiesThis course begins with the basic premise that theoretical concepts can be engaged through method. To this end, we will explore the theories that underlie digital humanities scholarship—in particular, as they relate to literary studies—through the practice of three major sets of methods associated with this emerging field. (Read more...)