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An analysis of To the Lighthouse          

 

Argument:         Mrs. Ramsey is triumphant over Mr. Ramsey, by her awareness and intuitive feeling of the more important things in life: the value of human relationships. Though she is submissive, with no mention of extensive educational background, she innately possesses the crucial social skills that gain: the cohesion of the family as a whole; the respect and love of her children, and the continued survival of her marriage.

 

Part I: The Window

"Had there been an axe handy, or a poker, any weapon that would have gashed a hole in his father's breast and killed him, there and then, James would have seized it... .(Mr. Ramsey) grinning sarcastically, not only with the pleasure of disillusioning his son and casting ridicule upon his w:j'e, who was ten thousand times better in every way than he was (James thought)." P4

"Yes, of course, if it 'sfine tomorrow, "said Mrs. Ramsey. To her son these words conveyed an extraordinary joy. P3

"Perhaps you will wake up and find the sun shining and the birds singing, "she said compassionately, smoothing.the little boy's hair, for her husband, with his caustic saying that it would not be fine, had dashed his spirits she could see. P15

"But" said his father, "it won 't be fine. " P4

"No going to the Lighthouse, James, "he said. P14

 

"What he (Mr. Ramsay) said was true. He was incapable of untruth; never tampered with a fact; never altered a disagreeable word to suit the pleasure or convenience of any mortal being, least of all of his own children, who, sprung from his loins, should be aware from childhood that life is difficult. " P4

"When the great clangour of the gong announced solemnly, authoritatively, that all those scattered about, in attics, in bedrooms, on little perches of their own, reading, writing, putting the last smooth to their hair, or fastening dresses, must leave all that, and the little odds and ends on their washing-tables and dressing-tables, and the novels on the bed-tables, and the diaries which were so private, and assemble in the dining-room for dinner. P 82

"They are in the hands of the Lord" P63

 

"Yes, you were right. It 's going to be wet tomorrow. You won 't be able to go." And she looked at him smiling. For she had triumphed again. She had not said it, yet he knew. "P124

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