The Hours

The Hours quotes

51 total quotes (ID: 280)

Clarissa Vaughan
Laura Brown
Multiple Characters
Richard Brown
Virginia Woolf


If I were thinking clearly, Leonard, I would tell you that I wrestle alone in the dark, in the deep dark. And that only I can know, only I can understand my own condition. You live with the threat, you tell me you live with the threat of my extinction. Leonard, I live with it too. This is my right; it is the right of every human being. I choose not the suffocating anesthetic of the suburbs but the violent jolt of the Capital. That is my choice. The meanest patient, yes, even the very lowest is allowed some say in the matter of her own prescription. Thereby she defines her humanity. I wish, for your sake, Leonard, I could be happy in this quietness. But if it is a choice between Richmond and death, I choose death.


Leonard: Do you think it's possible that bad writing actually attracts a higher incidence of error?

I remember one morning getting up at dawn, there was such a sense of possibility. You know, that feeling? And I remember thinking to myself this is the beginning of happiness. This is where it starts. And of course there will always be more. It never occurred to me it wasn't the beginning. It was happiness. It was the moment. Right then.

There are times when you don't belong and you think you're going to kill yourself. Once I went to a hotel. Later that night I made a plan. The plan was I would leave my family when my second child was born. And that's what I did. I got up one morning, made breakfast, went to the bus stop, got on a bus. I'd left a note. I got a job in a library in Canada. It would be wonderful to say you regretted it. It would be easy. But what does it mean? What does it mean to regret when you have no choice? It's what you can bear. There it is. No-one's going to forgive me. It was death. I chose life.

Dearest, I feel certain I am going mad again. I feel we can't go through another of these terrible times again and I shan't recover this time. I begin to hear voices and can't concentrate. So I'm doing what seems to be the best thing to do. You have given me the greatest possible happiness. You have been in every way all that anyone could be. I know that I'm spoiling your life and without me you could work, and you will, I know. You see, I can't even write this properly. What I want to say is that I owe all the happiness of my life to you. You have been entirely patient with me. And incredibly good. Everything is gone from me but the certainty of your goodness. I can't go on spoiling your life any longer. I don't think two people could have been happier than we have been. Virginia's letter to Leonard

Someone has to die in order that the rest of us should value life more. It's contrast.

That is what we do. That is what people do. They stay alive for each other.

Julia: So that's the monster.

Kitty: Oh, you're reading a book?
Laura: Yeah.
Kitty: What's this one about?
Laura: Oh, it's about this woman who's incredibly — well, she's a hostess and she's incredibly confident and she's going to give a party. And maybe because she's confident, everyone thinks she's fine... but she isn't.

Richard: I don't think I can make it to the party, Clarissa.
Clarissa: You don't have to go to the party, you don't have to go to the ceremony, you don't have to do anything you don't want to do. You can do as you like.
Richard: But I still have to face the hours, don't I? I mean, the hours after the party, and the hours after that...
Clarissa: You do have good days still. You know you do.
Richard: Not really. I mean, it's kind of you to say so, but it's not really true.

Richard: Who is this party for?
Clarissa: What are you asking, what are you trying to say?
Richard: I'm not trying to say anything. I think I'm staying alive just to satisfy you.

I've stayed alive for you. But now you have to let me go.

Virginia: You return to what?
Vanessa: Tonight. Oh, just some insufferable dinner not even you could envy, Virginia.
Virginia: But I do.

When I'm with him I feel... Yes, I am living. And when I'm not with him... Yes, everything does seem sort of silly.

Why is everything wrong?