Bernard is a story-teller, always seeking some elusive and apt phrase. Some critics see Woolf's friend E. M. Forster as an inspiration for him.Louis is an outsider who seeks acceptance and success. Some critics see in him aspects of T. S. Eliot, whom Woolf knew well.Neville, who may be partly based on another of Woolf's friends, Lytton Strachey, seeks out a series of men, each of whom becomes the present object of his transcendent love.Jinny is a socialite whose world view corresponds to her physical, corporeal beauty. There is evidence that she is based on Woolf's friend Mary Hutchinson.Susan flees the city, preferring the countryside, where she grapples with the thrills and doubts of motherhood. Some aspects of Susan recall Woolf's sister Vanessa Bell.