Einstein’s Dreams essay

Literary works often reflect the lives, thinking and attitude of real people. The readers can identify themselves with the characters in the literary works. The novel “The Hours” by Michael Cunningham depicts the lives of two women who are deeply influenced by the novel they are reading, and the life of the women who has authored the novel. Clarissa Vaughan, a fifty-two year old woman, residing in Greenwich Village is making preparations for a party which she desires to host for her former lover, Richard.

As Richard is on the verge of his death, Clarissa intended to host a perfect party for him. The other woman in the novel is Laura Brown, who is living in Los Angeles and is preparing a cake to celebrate the birthday of her husband. The lives of these two women are connected to each other, owing to the novel “Mrs. Dalloway” by Virginia Woolf. Both these women are reading the novel and are identifying themselves with the protagonist of the novel, Mrs. Dalloway who is also preparing for a party. In fact Clarissa Vaughan resembles Mrs.

Dalloway so much that her friend, Richard addresses her as Mrs. Dalloway. Cunningham writes (2002) “The name Mrs. Dalloway had been Richard’s idea. ” (pg. 10). Laura Brown, who feels that she is being trapped in an unhappy marriage, seeks to gain comfort by reading the novel. The lives of Virginia Woolf, Clarissa Vaughan and Laura Brown are linked to each other owing to the significance the novel holds in their lives. The novel is symbolic of their struggle to cope with their circumstances, as each woman is trying to find pleasure in her life surrounded by sorrow and pain.

The life of Virginia Woolf and her novel makes Clarissa and Laura to realize the beauty of their lives. Einstein’s Dreams Human beings are gifted with the knowledge which enables them to understand the concept of time. The concept of time has fascinated scientists as well as the novelists, as both of them aim to explain the notion of time through their works. The novel “Einstein’s Dreams” by Alan Lightman, focus on the different concepts of time. Through his novel “Einstein’s Dreams”, Alan Lightman brings forth the varied concepts of time in form of dreams.

The dreams that young Einstein has while developing his theory of relativity are depicted in the novel. Each dream describes a universe where the concept of time is different and unique. In the circular universe, the events keep on repeating as time flows in a circular motion. A situation in an individual’s life is repeated on numerous times but that individual is unaware of this fact. Lightman (1994) writes “For the most part, people do not know they will their lives over.

Traders do not know that they will make the same bargain again and again. Politicians do not know that they will shout from the same lectern an infinite number of times in the cycle of time. ” (pg. 12). Owing to this repetition of the events, the difference between the past and present is blurred in the circular universe. In one of his dreams, Einstein sees a world where the concept of time is influenced by the gravity of the earth. In this world, time passes slowly in places which are far away from the earth’s center.

Lightman (1994) mentions “At some time in the past, scientists discovered that time flows more slowly the further from the center of the earth. ” (pg. 34). Through this novel, the author brings forth the imaginary worlds where the concept of time directs the life of the people living there. The changes in the concept of time alter the way human beings lead their lives. The significance of time and the influence it has on human beings is presented in the novel.


Cunningham, M. (2002). The Hours. Picador Lightman, A. (1994). Einstein’s Dreams. Warner Books.