Texts And Traditions

Read Complete Research Material

Texts and Traditions


Michael Cunningham is a modern American writer. He is a winner of the Pulitzer Prize in 1999. Michael Cunningham is one of the most respected authors of current American fiction. Born in Cincinnati (Ohio), but spent his early years in California. He graduated in English literature from Stanford University and in 1990 published “A Home at the End of the World”, his first novel, which was filmed by the hand of Michael Mayer. In 1995, he published “Flesh and Blood”, his second novel, and in 1999 he received the Pulitzer Prize for “The Hours”, a novel that was starring Virginia Woolf and was filmed with great success.

“The Hours” is a novel that explores kinship beyond the traditional definitions. The novel was published in 1998 and it is a recreation and also a tribute to Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf (1925). In The Hours, Michael Cunningham delves sensitively and intelligently in the everyday world of three women: Virginia Woolf, Laura Brown and Clarissa Vaughan, who are joined along the novel by one of the most important works of the British writer, Mrs. Dalloway (Peregrin, pp. 31).

Cunningham takes not only the narrative form, but certain events including the character Clarrissa. In the chapters devoted to Laura Brown, the author cites several long passages from the novel by Virginia Woolf. The novel is therefore more appreciated when one has read Mrs. Dalloway.

Moreover, if we consider the various issues and met-fictional strategies used by Cunningham in The Hours, we will find him a visible narrator and reader of explicit dramatization. This narrative style is adopted particularly in the film which represents the flow of thoughts and perceptions of the main characters as would occur in real life which is unfiltered and unpredictable. Cunningham also appears as a subjective narrator as the voice comes from the mind of the three main characters, with occasional interjections from other characters. The narrator speaks in the third person in each of the chapters / scenes and follows the main respective character (Clarissa Dalloway, Virginia Woolf and Laura Borwn) through its thoughts. At times, the narrator disagrees and considers what other characters think about the rest. For example, in the kitchen scene, Kitty says of Mrs Brown: "You can not be a complete woman until you've been a mother ".

Discussion and Analysis

One morning in 1923, in a suburb of London, Virginia Woolf awakens with the idea that it will become Mrs. Dalloway. In the nineties, in New York, Clarissa Vaughan buy flowers for a party in honour of Richard, an old friend with AIDS who has received a major literary prize. In 1949, Laura Brown, a housewife in Los Angeles, prepares a birthday cake for her husband with the help of his young son. These are the three women, and the starting moments, hours, an emotional novel that delves into the world of Virginia Woolf with extreme sensitivity and intelligence. Like the protagonist of his work, the characters are torn between loneliness, despair and ...
Related Ads