Thus, for example, Woolf made the following corrections to the American proofs on page 96 (The ~ symbol indicates a repeated word.):
96.6 she] She UP ]
96.7 island; ] ~... UP ]
96.7 she] She UP ]
96.8 hen;] ~... UP ]
96.8 she] She UP ]
96.8 laughed;] ~. UP ]
96.8 she ] She UP ]
All of which looks dull as a list until you look at the actual paragraphs side by side. Look at the 4 changes to “she”: each time, Woolf is changing from a capital “S” to a lower case one. Thus, what were five separate sentences in the proofs become, in the novel, one long clause linked by semi-colons. Then, she erases a phrase modifying the island and one modifying the hen.
So, what might this mean in the larger context of the novel? Well, this is a paragraph in which Peter Walsh is thinking back to the night when he watched, to his great distress, Clarissa fall in love with Richard Dalloway. “She” is the focus of this paragraph: he thinks this is the night that changed his life forever. This is certainly the night when Clarissa was finally lost to him forever.
And, in the end, this is one of three times in the novel when Peter is thinking about a woman--Clarissa, Daisy (his child-fiancee), and finally, Sally, and Woolf changes sentences to clauses. So, a long string of seemingly insignificant changes (period to semi-colon, upper- to lower-case) actually indicates an overall significant change to the pacing of the paragraph.