Comparing The Film And Virginia Woolf 's Mrs. Dalloway

1244 Words Mar 12th, 2015 5 Pages
Despite the fact that suicides feature in both the film and Virginia Woolf’s novel Mrs Dalloway, both texts echo Woolf’s words from her 1922 diary: ‘I meant to write about death, only life came breaking in as usual.’ Both Woolf’s modernist 1925 novel and Daldry’s 2002 postmodernist film which has Mrs Dalloway as a pivotal point for its three interwoven stories can be seen as life-affirming texts – with their major focus on women whose rich inner lives are juxtaposed with their outer lives constrained by the contexts in which they live. Both texts place the characters in their respective context, to reflect on, or respond to, the horrors of the consequences of war and AIDS, the disappointment of unfulfilled potential that is met at middle age, the poignancy of lost love, the difficulties of personal relationships, class, gender and sexuality. However, both the novel and film ultimately portray an affirmation of life, the central value connecting both texts.

Mrs Dalloway seeks to narrate the inner life of characters in a single day – Wednesday, 13th June, 1923. This approach shapes a number of perspectives which may contradict, while in The Hours the action takes place within the span of a single day in three different years, 1923, 1951 and 2001 – three parallel narratives with the focus on three different women, alternating between them throughout the film. In Mrs Dalloway, the chiming of both the grand Big Ben and the gentler St Margaret’s symbolise the significance of…
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