Traditional Gender Roles In The Hours And Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway

Decent Essays

The comparative study of texts and their appropriations reflect the context and values of their times, demonstrating how context plays a significant role. Virginia Woolf’s novel modernists Mrs Dalloway (1925) and Steven Daldry’s post modernists film The Hours (2002), an extrapolation, explore the rapid change of social and philosophical paradigms of the 20th century, focusing on women whose rich inner lives are juxtaposed with their outer lives. They place the characters in their respective context, to respond to, the horrors of the consequences of war and AIDS and the vagaries and difficulties of relationships, sexuality and mental illness. Through their differing intertextual perspectives the film and novel represent similar values, within different contextual concerns.

In the novel Mrs Dalloway, Woolf conveys her perspective, as she finely examines and critiques the traditional gender roles of women in a changing post-war society. Woolf characterisation of Clarissa Dalloway in a non linear structure, presents a critical portrayal of the existing class structure through modernist’s eyes. Titling her novel as Mrs Dalloway presents Clarissa’s marriage as a central focus of her life, drawing attention to how a women’s identity is defined by marriage. Despite the changing role of women throughout the 1920s, for married women life was the same post war. Clarissa experiences ‘the oddest sense of being herself invisible…that is being Mrs Dalloway…this being Richard Dalloway,”

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