Characters in Virginia Woolf’s Story
English novelist. Virginia is tormented by her headaches and voices
in her head. The Hours
focuses on a day in 1923
when she lived in a suburb of London. Though extremely intelligent
and highly respected, she is overly protected by her family, because they
fear for her sanity. She has begun writing Mrs. Dalloway
a book which she hopes will be her masterpiece.
in-depth analysis of Virginia Woolf.
Woolf’s husband. Leonard is the editor and publisher of the Hogarth
Press, and he believes Virginia to be the most important writer
of her generation. Though occasionally testy and curmudgeonly, he
never becomes angry with Virginia, though he worries about her constantly.
He looks out for Virginia’s health when she becomes too distracted to
do so herself.
cook in the Woolf household. Nelly is relentlessly domestic and
stands in contrast to Virginia’s distracted relationship with the
house and its workings. Her practicality prevents her from understanding
Virginia’s dedication to her writing. She resents Virginia’s lack
of involvement in her own house.
sister, a respected painter. Vanessa has a raucous, colorful, cheerful
life and is mother to three children. Though three years older than
Virginia, she looks younger than her sister because she is healthy
and better adjusted. The two sisters are extremely close, and Vanessa
acts as one of Virginia’s caretakers.
oldest child. Julian is fifteen years old and very handsome. He
is Vanessa’s favorite.
middle child, age thirteen. Quentin is not as handsome as Julian
but is kind, stalwart, and inherently good. Virginia feels an affinity
for Quentin because of his intelligence and sense of irony.
youngest child, age five. Angelica is nervous and distractible,
and the classic youngest child whose whims are indulged by her older
of Leonard’s assistants. Ralph is stout, earthly, and somewhat incompetent.
of Leonard’s assistants. Marjorie has a grating voice and is willing
to do the tasks nobody else wants to do, even though she doesn’t
do them very well.
Characters in Clarissa Vaughn’s Story
A lesbian editor who resides in New York in the late
twentieth century. Clarissa lives in a lovely apartment in the West
Village neighborhood of New York with her lover, Sally, and Clarissa’s
daughter, Julia. She is cheerfully domestic and usually takes comfort
in her beautiful apartment and stable life. The illness of her friend
Richard, however, has caused her to reevaluate her choices in life,
precipitating a midlife crisis of sorts. Richard calls her “Mrs.
in-depth analysis of Clarissa Vaughn.
and poet, a gay man dying from AIDS complications. Richard and Clarissa
are best friends from college and former lovers. Before he became
sick, Richard was argumentative, intelligent and stubborn. He took
pleasure in day-to-day existence and worked this affection into
his novels, which were experimental and only sporadically successful.
Richard is the adult son of Laura Brown.
live-in lover of eighteen years. Sally produces an interview show
on public television. She is kind, steady, smart, and as domestic
friend from Richard and Clarissa’s youth. Richard’s ex-lover, Louis
now teaches drama in San Francisco. When Louis was young, he was
very good looking, but he has aged dramatically. He is sentimental
and cries often. Louis feels jealous of Clarissa and Richard’s intimate
relationship. He is fundamentally regretful about his life and believes
that there is “very little love in this world.”
daughter, age nineteen. Julia is willfully boyish and independent.
Though straight, her friendship with lesbian activist Mary Krull
has caused her to shave her head and wear combat boots. She is not
as close with her mother as Clarissa would like them to be. Julia
deals with difficult social situations gracefully.
of Julia’s, lesbian activist and radical feminist. Mary comes across
as humorless and judgmental, and thinks that Clarissa’s domestic
lesbianism is a futile attempt to be normal in a homophobic world.
She is desperately in love with Julia.
friend of Clarissa and Richard’s. Walter has managed to avoid contracting
HIV even though his lover has the virus. Though Walter means well,
Richard resents that he has stayed healthy when so many of their
friends are sick.
boyfriend. Evan has HIV but has responded well to the drugs he takes.
Olivier St. Ives
Movie star and friend of Sally’s. Oliver was an established
action star before he came out of the closet in the magazine Vanity
. He wants to produce a thriller with a gay protagonist
and tries to get Walter Hardy to write the script.
Characters in Laura Brown’s Story
housewife who lives in Los Angeles in 1949. Laura is a young wife
and mother of a three-year-old son. She lives in an attractive house
and has a nice husband but constantly feels that she should have
a different life. A bookworm, she sees herself an outsider who lives
in exile from a life of domestic normalcy.
in-depth analysis of Laura Brown.
three-year-old son. Richie will grow up to be Richard Brown, the
novelist and friend of Clarissa Vaughn. Richie loves his mother
completely and wants to be with her all the time, and he closely
observes everything she does. He is extremely sensitive and prone
to becoming upset.
husband. Dan was a war hero and much more popular than Laura in
high school. When he returned from the war, he fell in love with
Laura and married her. Dan is consistently kind and appreciative
of Laura. He feels content with his life and has high hopes for
next-door neighbor. Kitty is very self-assured and has a kind of
confident magnetism. Though Laura idealizes Kitty, she has been
unable to have children and has to go into the hospital for tests
that may not bode well for her future.
husband. Ray has an unremarkable job and is mildly incompetent.