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What would be a good thesis for the question: Despite their different contexts, the...

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1Lucy1235813 | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 2) eNoter

Posted August 19, 2013 at 9:02 AM via web

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What would be a good thesis for the question: Despite their different contexts, the characters of Mrs Dalloway and The Hours are united by feelings of loss, dissatisfaction and exclusion. Discuss the statement in light of your study of Mrs Dalloway and The Hours.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted August 19, 2013 at 10:28 AM (Answer #1)

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I think that your thesis statement is to affirm the question.  The question, which itself, is more of a statement, is accurate.  There is a distinct feeling of loss, dissatisfaction and exclusion that governs the existence of individuals in both Woolf's work and Daldry's film. The thesis statement would be to affirm the statement because I think that there is much in both to demonstrate its validity.

The ending of Woolf's work is one in which there is loss, dissatisfaction, and exclusion.  There is little in way of resolution, and this is where these feelings emerge.  Peter is fundamentally cut adrift from the real feelings that govern his heart, while Clarissa's mode of expression is assembling a party that is now ending.  Clarissa's wondering of whether she should activate her voice outside of her own world is where her characterization experiences a feeling of dissatisfaction and exclusion.   Her admiration of Septimus' suicide is a reflection of how Clarissa is dominated by wondering if statements about life can be made, and this is symptomatic of loss and dissatisfaction.  The film enhances these feelings with its own depictions.  Certainly, Richard is bound and plagued by feelings loss, dissatisfaction, and exclusion to the point where he feels compelled to take his own life.  Laura Brown also experiences these feelings, emotions that drive her to contemplate taking her own life.  At the very least, these feelings cause her to abandon her family.  Clarissa Vaughn is akin to her namesake in which she struggles to find some level of meaning in the action she takes, while Virginia Woolf can only find meaning in a suicide that confirms her own feelings of loss, dissatisfaction, and exclusion.

It should be noted that the film provides more resolution than the Woolf novel.  Clarissa finds the tender embraces of Sally and her daughter as elements that bring meaning into her life. Laura has made peace with her role as "the monster" and Virginia's letter to Leonard is one in which there is love and devotion, even though her act might reflect the lack of it.  While there is more resolution in the film, this does not offset the fact that the feelings of loss, dissatisfaction,and exclusion guide both sets of characters in film and novel.


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