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The Hours | Study Guide

Michael Cunningham

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Course Hero. "The Hours Study Guide." June 28, 2019. Accessed June 6, 2023.


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Michael Cunningham

Year Published





Fiction, Women's Studies

Perspective and Narrator

The narrator tells The Hours in the third person while shifting among the various perspectives and voices of the three major characters in the novel.


The Hours comprises three voices that are all relayed by the narrator in the present tense.

About the Title

The Hours was the working title British writer Virginia Woolf (1882–1941) gave the novel that became Mrs. Dalloway (1925). This novel chronicles the hours that make up one day in the life of Londoner Clarissa Dalloway, who prepares to host a party. Mrs. Dalloway inspired Michael Cunningham's novel. In both the earlier and later books, the title refers to the events and thoughts characters experience during the hours in an ordinary day. In a larger sense, the characters are preoccupied by mortality and often consider the hours they have remaining to them.


This study guide for Michael Cunningham's The Hours offers summary and analysis on themes, symbols, and other literary devices found in the text. Explore Course Hero's library of literature materials, including documents and Q&A pairs.

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