Laura Brown, like many women of her generation, married young and has settled into the roles of wife and mother at a relatively young age. Laura feels surprised by the direction her life has taken. In high school, her husband, Dan, was popular while she was a shy bookworm. Dan became a war hero, and when he returned to California he married Laura and they had a child. Laura feels as though she has woken up in someone else’s life, and her role as a housewife suffocates her. She thinks that she should be happy, because her husband is kind, her son loves her, and they live in a nice home.

Laura feels that something is wrong with her but tries to convince herself that she is normal. She seeks comfort in books, specifically Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway. Through reading, she can step out of her life and critically examine her own experiences. The subject matter of suicide also forces her to consider the idea that she wants to find a way out of her own life. In the final chapter of The Hours, we find out that Laura attempted suicide and ultimately left her family to move to Canada. The day described in The Hours shows Laura considering these two possibilities, possibly providing the catalyst for making the decision to leave her family.