Septimius thought, and this gradual drawing together of everything to one center before his eyes, as if some horror
had come almost to the surface and was about to burst into flames, terrified him. The world wavered and quivered and threatened to burst into flames.
It is I who am blocking the way, he thought (Woolf 15).”

Due to suffering from shell-shock, Septimus is walking down a London street when he hears motor cars passing by. The sound of the loud motor cars coming down Mulberry street in London triggers Septimius’s shell-shock. The loud motor cars sound like the battle grounds that he once stepped on when he was in WWI. This trigger sets him off and he ends up being in crippling, eternal pain. These sounds trigger his emotions causing him to get flashbacks and he is unable to control his emotions. Often times, people who suffer from PTSD get triggered by sounds, images and objects. In Septimius’s case, he gets triggered by almost everything because he has a severe case of shell-shock which causes his to not function properly. According to Leese, he states “ and if such soldiers could be cured, made normal again. Then some of those traditionally considered society’s outsiders could also gain entrance to society through a supposed reform of their manners and morals ( Moses, 4). “ It is seen here that victims of shell-shock are viewed as outsiders because many are unable to relate to them. In Septimius’s case, when he hears the loud motor cars, people surrounding him are seeing they way he is acting and are unable to understand him. This loud motor car triggered Septimus made him feel terrified and threatened by the world around him.


Mosse, George L. “Shell-Shock as a Social Disease.” Journal of Contemporary History, vol. 35, no. 1, 2000, pp. 101–108. JSTOR, JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/261184.