In What Ways Does A Comparative Study Of The Intertextual Connections Between Mrs Dalloway And The Hours Enhance An Audience’s Appreciation Of The Distinctive Values And Context? Year 12 Advanced English Essay

1867 words - 8 pages

All literature expose, explore and present concepts and issues relevant to the time the text was composed in order to allow for different interpretations from audiences regarding the matter. A text’s concepts which evidently transcends time is often recreated, reappropriated, or referenced in a more recent text in order to deliver their shared concepts and ideas, to relate to audiences in a different time period and societal setting. The texts ‘Mrs Dalloway’ and ‘The Hours’ enhance its audiences’ appreciation of the distinctive values and contexts presented within the texts. Virginia Woolf’s ‘Mrs Dalloway’ explores the concept of the 1920s post-WWI era of societal bourgeoisie, effects of the war on veterans, such as shell-shock and PTSD, which can lead to mental illness and suicidal manners, and also the importance of the roles of women and the rising awareness of the concept of feminism. Similarly, a contemporary version of a very much alike issues is present in Stephen Daldry’s film of ‘The Hours’, the appropriation and extrapolation of ‘Mrs Dalloway’, through both explicit and implicit references, such as the invisible issue of mental illness caused by AIDS, roles of women in a contemporary society, and how social norms and expectations have changed, shown comparatively beginning from the 1920s England, to the 1950s Los Angeles, and early 2000s New York social setting. Both Woolf and Daldry have masterfully provoked and encouraged its audiences from the 1920s to present, to question the distinctive values and contexts within their own respective society, which they presented in their texts, leading to the audience’s appreciation for it.
The period of time in which a text is composed reflects the message and context the text conveys based on the significant events occurring at the time. Virginia Woolf composed her text in the context of the beginning of the modernist period, and the concept of the aftermath of war five years later reverberate throughout ‘Mrs Dalloway’. After WWI, the concept of isolation is experienced by many individual in order to try to accept the rapidly changing values and attitude of the new world. Woolf’s form of composition captures the subjectivity of meaning, through an omnipotent, third person stream of consciousness narrator. In ‘Mrs Dalloway’, characterisation highlights the anxiety and fear of the 1920s society, evident in Septimus Warren Smith as he inevitably committed suicide due to his depression. Audience is put in the poignant subjectivity of Septimus’ growing madness, as Woolf effectively show concerns for the state of the war’s forgotten veterans. “He was quite alone, condemned, deserted, as those who are about to die are alone, there was a luxury in it, an isolation full of sublimity; a freedom which the attached can never know.” The listing of how he feels “alone, condemned, deserted” exhibits his fear of death and it also conveys his deep sense of isolation. Although, Septimus’ sense of torture and...

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