Well, I've always wondered what Clarissa Dalloway's personality type was because it is my favorite book. Her character just really reached for my heart and snatched it. I originally pegged her as an ESFJ, since she was considered to be an "excellent hostess". However, I kind of forgot that one of the main points of the story is that she is Mrs. Dalloway; tied down by society and money as a housewife.
She starts out the story reminiscing about the past and taking a walk in June to "pick up the flowers herself". She seems very excited about the party she will be throwing. On the way to the flower shop, she runs into a couple of friends and we discover how shy she actually is through the contrast between her internal thoughts and the the internal thoughts of those she encounters. She is very reserved on the outside while on the inside things are very exciting and busy. While some may see her as shallow, we as the audience are able to see her rich inner life and constant contemplation, not to mention how her mind wanders from topic to topic fluidly with no focus. The environment around her triggers these memories as well as the people she encounters.
So basically I'm going to argue this:
1) The environment around her seems to almost electrify her mind, causing a flood of vivid memories and internal thoughts. Throughout the story she falls into this kind of thinking, often resulting in her suddenly being pulled back into reality by interrupting external stimuli (example: Big Ben striking the hour).
2) She seems to idealize her party, as she enjoys doing this for not only her sake but for others. She insists on everything be perfect at her party, and when things are looking bad she feels like she as a person is threatened because her "vision" has been tainted. At the end of the book certain events cause her to think that her party is ruined. From what I discerned, she had been waiting to throw this party for so long when it finally happened she was not as satisfied with it as she though she would be. She walks upstairs and stands on the balcony and contemplates suicide. Since she is tied down by society, all she can really turn to are "gloves and shoes" and her parties, and all she ever wishes is to attain perfection in these kinds of things.
3) We see such a huge contrast in Clarissa's actual character and her character as perceived by others. This reserved nature she is known for leads me to believe she is an introvert. This is also supported by her wish to spend time alone inside her solitary room. She has also been shown to express "prudish remarks". For example, when she was young she heard about a young girl who had a baby outside of marriage. "Her reaction seemed not only prudish but also arrogant, judgmental, and unimaginative, and others who were at the table at the time were uncomfortable with her blatant scorn of and lack of sympathy for the woman." These people became uncomfortable because of how her usual sweet nature had suddenly disappeared.
4) We also learn that Clarissa prefers discussions about things that have nothing to do with ordinary life, and this is one of the things she values about parties. "Clarissa imagined her party as a forum for discussion of topics that people would not normally discuss, and people are indeed emerging somewhat from their usual selves. "
5) Her best friend when she was younger, Sally, had come the party. She hadn't seen her since she was young. She had spent so much time imagining Sally in her mind over the years that this "new" Sally seemed less real than the one in her mind.
6) At the end of the novel, Clarissa feels extreme guilt after hearing about the suicide of another main character of the novel that she had never actually met. One of the people invited to her party was this man's (Septimus) psychologist. Septimus was a victim of shell-shock from the war, and basically suffered from manic/schizophrenic systems. He ends up throwing himself out of a window and onto a metal fence. Clarissa responds like this:
"Clarissa feels that Septimus’s death is her own disgrace, and she is ashamed that she is an upper-class society wife who has schemed and desired social success. His death is also her disgrace because she compromised her passion and her soul when she married Richard, while Septimus preserved his soul by choosing death. "
This final point I think is one of the strongest to support my theory that Clarissa Dalloway is an INFJ. I believe she shows a preference for Ni (her vivid thoughts, which are even intuitive to future events), followed by her Fe (which she expresses by putting together parties). I can't believe I never really thought about all of this until today, but I believe that she is the strongest example of an INFJ character I have ever encountered.
I would be interested to see if anyone else thinks otherwise. I don't want to let my own personal bias get in the way of determining her personality type, since this was my original intention.