The Hours Response

12 Dec

The Hours

The story centers around three women of vastly different backgrounds and times who share the common thread of depression. The movie skillfully weaves together the humanity and trials of womanhood while highlighting the social constructs of their eras.  The first character, Virginia Woolf, suffers excruciating headaches while writing her novel, Mrs. Dalloway.  The movie opens with her suicide attempt.  Decades later, Laura Brown, suffering from depression and a fear of motherhood, finds solace within the pages of that same novel.  In modern times, lesbian publisher Clarissa Vaughn finds herself at a crossroads as she prepares a celebration for a friend suffering from AIDS.  Despite the time and distance that holds these women apart, the novel fiercely holds them and their suffering together.  Although all three wrestle with the issue of suicide, it is the catalyst, Virginia Woolf, who is successful in ending her life, while perhaps providing solace to the others in their struggles.

 

Is The Hours a feminist or an anti-feminist film?

One could argue that this film was both a feminist and an anti-feminist film.  All three women felt constrained by societal norms and the pressures of womanhood, albeit in different ways.  Woolf’s husband, in consideration of his wife’s mental health, insisted that the couple not have children.  When faced with others’ children, Woolf found herself lacking as a woman, perhaps feeling that motherhood was a rite of passage for all women.  This is a fairly anti-feminist view of women as child-bearers.  Laura, conversely, wrestles with the idea that she may not be cut out for motherhood.  She questions her own abilities.  She takes a more feminist view, although her pregnancy is an ever-present reminder of her station in life.  Clarissa Vaughn presents a different perspective of the adult mother and an alternative lifestyle outside of the confines of a traditional marriage.  For her, feminism seems to drive her choices but it is anti-feminism that tears her heart in her own experience as a mother.

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One Response to “The Hours Response”

  1. lordbyrne December 21, 2012 at 10:39 pm #

    10/10. JB.

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