Mrs. Dalloway Questions and Answers
by Virginia Woolf

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What is the connection between Mrs. Dalloway and The Hours? How does Michael Cunnningham use characters, ideas, and themes from Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway to create his contemporary novel?  

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Michael Cunningham superimposes certain characters from Virginia Woolf's Mrs. Dalloway into The Hours. For example, Cunningham's Clarissa Vaughn is essentially Virginia Woolf's Clarissa Dalloway. In the beginning of their respective stories, both women are preparing to host parties.

Clarissa Vaughn is hosting a party to honor her poet/writer friend, Richard, who is dying from AIDS. She goes flower shopping, and so does Virginia Woolf's Clarissa Dalloway. Both women happen upon old friends during or after running their respective errands. Cunningham's Clarissa Vaughn bumps into Walter Hardy during her excursion, while Woolf's Clarissa Dalloway is surprised by her old suitor, Peter Walsh, when she returns home.

Like Richard in The Hours , Walter Hardy is a writer and a homosexual; unlike Richard, however, Walter is not suffering from AIDS. Instead, his partner, Evan, is the one grappling with the prospect of dying from AIDS. Here, we can see that Cunningham has utilized similar types of...

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