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Many books have been written about women and their problems in life. "The Hours" is not just about women, It is a novel about life. It is about contemporary American society. "The Hours is about passion, depression, obsession and especially the ways women are shaped ,hindered and occasionally even inspired by masculine structures and expectations that engulf them"(1) It is a story that tells us how the behavior of mother can affect the life of a child. Three lives are intertwined through time and space to create a dynamic story.
The book shows Laura depicting aspects of Woolf"s personality. They were both suffering from depression. Woolf committed suicide while Laura contemplated suicide. The effects of masculine structures and expectations from women pervade throughout the story. Virginia Woolf remains in Richmond because her husband is obeying the doctors even though she obviously dislikes Richmond. Laura was so devastated because she could not make the perfect cake for her husband. She was trying to play the role of the perfect mother and wife even though she was very unhappy. Clarrisan Vaughan spent so much time planning for a party that Richard did not want to attend. It is obvious that the women will keep themselves unhappy just to satisfy the needs of the men they are involved with. The only person who went against the grain was Laura Brown when she left her son . According to Ebert, Roger "Virginia and Leonard Woolf loved each other, Clarrisan treasures both of her lovers. But for the two in the movie who cannot love, The price is devastating"(3).The effect is shown in how Richie, the little boy became Richard, the man that finally committed suicide to save himself from aids. Perhaps, If the mother had shown more love and had connected more to him, his life would have ended differently.
"It is our great sadness and defeat when we can't connect because of madness or sadness of the soul or because of selfishness"(Vognar 2). This is depicted in both Virginia and Laura's life.
The effect was suicide in Virginia's case and Laura abandoning her home. This ultimately led to Richard's death. It is interesting to note that only Laura survived in the family.
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1 Fuchs, Cynthia. "My Own Condition."Online posting 27 Dec. 2002, Pop Matters film
2 Ebert, Roger , "The Hours" Current Review, Chicago Sun- Times , 27th December, 2002
3.Vognar, Chris, "The Hours' isn't afraid of Virginia Woolf" Dallas Morning News, The(TX); 13th January, 2003