The Hours Theme

1052 Words5 Pages
Michael Cunningham’s “The Hours” tells the story of three women, each from different eras of society, yet connected through the internal conflicts which they face. Laura Brown, one of the novel’s three protagonists, lives the white middle-class American dream. However, throughout the novel her mental health begins to deteriorate due to the oppressive lifestyle which she feels society has forced upon her. The Virginia Woolf portrayed by Cunningham, was in fact historically accurate to the original Virginia Woolf. Wolf struggled with mental illness throughout her lifetime and the idea of breaking the mold of traditional women’s roles. Unlike Laura Brown and Virginia Woolf, Clarissa Vaughn enjoys all of the freedoms which the late twentieth century allows, but is still left questioning if her life of a conventional wife and mother is lacking something. Character, to some extent is determined by destiny, however, when society places limitations on an individual's free will, it will always create a desire to break away from the mold. Above all other characters in “The Hours”, Laura Brown challenges her destiny like no other. The post-war society of America in the 1950s clearly defined the roles in which women were expected to fill. Unlike most of the women which share her similar suburban lifestyle, Laura feels dissatisfied with her life consisting of solely marriage and motherhood. Throughout the course of the novel, Laura searches for an escape from this traditional way of

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