Disclaimer: This is an example of a student written essay.
Click here for sample essays written by our professional writers.

Any opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of UKEssays.com.

Similarities in the Film 'The Hour' and 'Mrs Dalloway'

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: English Literature
Wordcount: 1150 words Published: 4th Sep 2017

Reference this


The similarities in the themes of the film The Hour and the novel Mrs. Dalloway.

The Hours is a 2002 movie directed by Stephen Daldry and Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway has the similarities in the theme of homosexuality. Both the film and the novel depict all its action in one single day. Clarissa Dalloway in the novel and Clarissa Vaughn in the film wonder if they have the right decision to choose the right person to spend their lives with. Both the film The Hour and the novel Mrs. Dalloway  are absolute masterpieces.

Get Help With Your Essay

If you need assistance with writing your essay, our professional essay writing service is here to help!

Essay Writing Service

Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway tells the story of an entire day in the eyes of Clarissa Dalloway. It is confined to one single day, Wednesday in mid-June 1923, culminating in a party given by Clarissa Dalloway at the end of the day. It’s also limited to one place, London, and emotionally to the relationship of Mrs. Dalloway with her husband Richard Dalloway, Peter Walsh, Sally Seton, and Septimus Warren Smith.

Clarissa Dalloway’s character is developed through the thoughts which pass through her mind in one single day at different times. Whenever the big bang chimes or the backfiring of the motor engine, the point of view shifts regularly from one character to another and sometimes happens within one single sentence. At each shift, the author provides an indirect look into the character’s thoughts and emotions. The narrator just reports the character’s thoughts. For example, Clarissa sleeps in her own room and her isolation is a sexual failure to connect with her husband Richard. She imagines herself as a virgin nun in a white dress: “Mrs. Dalloway raised her hand to her eyes, and, as the maid shut the door, she heard the swish of Lucy’s skirt, she felt like a nun who has left the world and feels fold round her familiar veils and responses to old devotions.” (Woolf 29) The verb “felt” and “feel” shows that the narrator’s knowledge of the interior of the main character. Such a radical narrative technique causes a great confusion to readers, yet at the same time enlightens the meaning of her story. From the beginning to the end of Mrs. Dalloway, there are no parts or chapters. The structure of this novel is very compact, which is concentrated in one single day on purpose. All the incidents happen in the novel is connected with each other very well. The technique that Woolf uses is the stream of consciousness which also enriches her writing.

Stephen Daldry’s The Hours has the same path of Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway by depicting all its action in a single day, where events take place in three different years. The first event captures Virginia Woolf in 1923, preparing to write the novel, “Mrs. Dalloway,” in her home, Richmond, London (Daldry, The Hour). The other year 1951, depicts the troubled, homemaker Laura Brown moves from her marriage or life to read the novel, “Mrs. Dalloway” (Daldry, The Hour). The third year shows the New Yorker, Clarissa Vaughan, in 2001, dedicating her entire day preparing a party for her college day’s friend and lover Richard. The party is in honor of Richard, an HIV-positive poet, and author about to receive a prestigious award that he finds little meaning in it (Daldry, The Hour). Clarissa Dalloway in the novel and Clarissa Vaughn in the film are throwing parties in Richards’ honor and both chose the same flowers. The film The Hour and the novel Mrs. Dalloway have a close correlation in terms of both the story arrangement and unfolding of the characters in the film closely captures the characters in the novel.

In Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway, the theme of homosexuality takes a major part, where Mrs. Dalloway herself as the main character of the novel, does not enjoy her marriage because of poor communication and lacking of connection. Clarissa’s husband, Richard Dalloway, comes home with a bunch of flowers meant for his wife. However, he fails to tell Clarissa that he loves her because “he could not bring himself to say he loved her; not in so many words.” (118) On the other hand, Clarissa gets distracted by the memories of Sally Seton, her childhood friend and love’s interest, with whom she shared a kiss, which she defines as: “The most exquisite moment of her whole life…and she felt that she had been given a present, wrapped up, and told just to keep it, not to look at it- a diamond, something infinitely precious.” (35) Mrs. Dalloway has never forgotten about Seton, who is now married to Lord Rosseter and has five boys. Clarissa Dalloway aspires to be like Sally, but she fears judgment from society about her potential homosexuality, which is one of the reasons behind her marriage does not flourish.

Find Out How UKEssays.com Can Help You!

Our academic experts are ready and waiting to assist with any writing project you may have. From simple essay plans, through to full dissertations, you can guarantee we have a service perfectly matched to your needs.

View our services

On the contrary, in Stephen Daldry’s The Hours, the theme of homosexuality is developed and portrayed in the form of the ten-year intimate relationship between Clarissa Vaughn and Sally Lester. Ten years is a long time for Clarissa and Sally to live together in the same apartment sharing everything that a husband and wife shares. Clarissa Vaughn in The Hour differs from Clarissa Dalloway in Mrs. Dalloway because she chose to not to be with Richard and ended up with Sally. Also, in the film The Hour, the interesting parts are the women in each era of the film shared a kiss with another woman. For example, Laura’s neighbor Kitty drops in to ask her if she can take care of Laura’s dog while Laura is in the hospital for a procedure. Kitty pretends to be cheerful; however, Laura feels Kitty’s fear and boldly kisses Kitty on the lips (Daldry, The Hour).

Both Stephen Daldry’s The Hours and Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway present a unique way of constructing stories. The idea of developing the story depicts all its action in one single day, demonstrates the creative nature of both the author Virginia Woolf and the director Stephen Daldry. The story revolves on a single day, yet, they are able to deliver the significant message with the similarities in the theme of homosexuality to the reader as a novel and film, that could have considered different writing angles. Director Stephen Daldry has done a fantastic job of delivering Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway into his own modern retelling, The Hours.

Works Cited

The Hours. Dir. Stephen Daldry. Paramount Pictures. 2002. Film  
Woolf, Virginia. Mrs. Dalloway. New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1925. Print.


Cite This Work

To export a reference to this article please select a referencing stye below:

Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.
Reference Copied to Clipboard.

Related Services

View all

DMCA / Removal Request

If you are the original writer of this essay and no longer wish to have your work published on UKEssays.com then please: