Throughout “To the Lighthouse”, Woolf explores Lily Brisco and her desire to break with cultural stereotypes. Lily is depicted as a middle aged woman’s, who places a higher importance on her success in painting rather than that of marriage. This conflict will prove difficult to manage against society and those around her like Mrs. Ramsey. All through the novel Lily often feels the pressure to conform to certain gender roles, and from time to time can be seen doubting herself. It clearly weighs heavily on her mind as she goes about creating her painting. As she says in her thoughts “ Even while she looked at the mass, at the line, at the color, Mrs. Ramsay sitting in the window with James, she kept a feeler on her surrounding lest someone should creep up” (13). She undeniably knows that by choosing painting over more conventional paths like marriage is going to force her to stand out, and therefore becomes self conscious of even her painting. The painting itself stands for a clear break from social norms, yet she does not want anyone to see it because she is not entirely confide...
... middle of paper ...
... paints it so “ the tree [is] further in the middle;”. By placing the tree in her picture towards the middle she is able to take up the otherwise “awkward space”. The reader can interpret the tree and being Lily herself, and by moving the tree to the center of the painting, she is showing that she is committed to be liberated female standing. This continues to the last part of the book when Lily finally is able to establish herself as woman free of the social confines. Woolf writes “ With a sudden intensity, as if she saw it clear for a second, she drew a line there, in the center. It was done;” (154). This final line of the painting, represents a division between the old social system and the one that Lily stands for. Lily is finally comfortable with her choices.
Woolf, Virginia. To the lighthouse. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1981. Print.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf When speaking of modernism in the work Virginia Woolf, scholars too readily use her innovations in style and technique as the starting point for critical analysis, focusing largely on the ways in which her prose represents a departure from the conventional novel in both style and content. To simply discuss the extent of her unique style, however, is to overlook the role of tradition in her creation of a new literary identity. In To the Lighthouse, Woolf's invention reveals itself instead as a reinvention, a recasting of the conventional through the use of the traditional.... [tags: Lighthouse Virginia Woolf Essays]
2170 words (6.2 pages)
- To The Lighthouse - Portrait of a Real Woman Until To The Lighthouse, I had never read anything that so perfectly described women: wives, mothers, daughters and artists. I felt like shouting "Eureka!" on every page. These were my thoughts, beautifully written. Virginia Woolf writes of the essential loneliness and aloneness of human beings. In the first passage I am examining Mrs. Ramsay is the heart of the group gathered around the dinner table. It is because of her that they are assembled.... [tags: To The Lighthouse Essays]
720 words (2.1 pages)
- Male and Female Relations in To The Lighthouse To The Lighthouse exemplifies the condition of women when Woolf was writing and to some extent yet today. It offers a solution to remedy the condition of both men and women. To say the novel is a cry for a change in attitude towards women is not quite correct. It shows the plight of both men and women and how patriarchy is detrimental to both genders. Mrs. Ramsey. Both suffer from the unequal division of gender power in Woolf's society.... [tags: To The Lighthouse Essays]
2883 words (8.2 pages)
- The Impact of Social Idealogy on Woolf's To the Lighthouse Throughout literature the ideology of the society in which the author was living is evident in the text. This can cause certain groups within a text to be empowered while the other groups are marginalised and constrained by the social restrictions placed upon them by the ideology. In the novel To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf, Woolf shows us an awareness of gender politics during the 1920¹s Britain by subverting the traditional gender roles but at the same time naturalises notions of class causing certain groups to be constrained.... [tags: To The Lighthouse Essays]
1195 words (3.4 pages)
- Lily’s Reflections in Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse Embodying the spirit of the female artist, Lily Briscoe in To the Lighthouse examines critical issues pertaining to her role in Virginia Woolf’s novel. In Part Three of the novel, Mrs. Ramsay’s legacy plays an especially important role in Lily’s thinking processes. Flowing experimentally like the sea that day, Lily’s thoughts encompass the novel’s themes of the passage of time, the role of the woman, and the role of the artist. Though time can break down physical matter, its prodding cannot disperse vivid memories.... [tags: To The Lighthouse Essays]
1359 words (3.9 pages)
- One of the most talked about issues in today 's society is the importance of understanding feminism and debunking gender roles. These topics, which have changed and revolutionized tremendously since 1927, play a large role in Virginia Woolf’s To The Lighthouse. Woolf explores forced gender conventions and expectations, shown through the characters of Mrs. Ramsay and Lily Briscoe, that lead to harmful stereotypes and internalized misogyny and how they effect relationship dynamics. One of the most vital characters in Woolf’s To The Lighthouse is a walking stereotype.... [tags: Gender role, Gender, Woman, Transgender]
1404 words (4 pages)
- Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse has been described as a Künstlerroman or artist novel. It traces the development of an artist, much like the Bildungsroman traced the development of a child into adulthood (Daughtery 148). The main artist of the novel is Lily Briscoe. As the novel progresses, Lily comes to terms with art and with life. To the Lighthouse is, in many ways, a quest novel (Daughter 148). This is evidenced by the title, which includes the preposition “to”. Nearly all the characters in the novels have a goal which they are aiming for.... [tags: Literature]
1992 words (5.7 pages)
- A Comparison of Lily’s Artifice and Mr. Ramsey's Work in To the Lighthouse In Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse, Mr. Ramsey’s lone philosophical work is contrasted against Lily’s encompassing paintings. Both Lily’s and Mr. Ramsey’s professions require sacrifices; Lily gives up the ideal marital life whereas Mr. Ramsey has his wife forfeit her happiness to restore his. Through his work, Mr. Ramsey is able to build himself up and look as though he is a strong male figure. Lily also finds strength within her artistry, rejecting the traditional “mother-woman” image and taking on an identity that is unique in her society.... [tags: To The Lighthouse Essays]
2862 words (8.2 pages)
- One of the most brilliant and influential authors of her time, Virginia Woolf produced a body of literature that effected deep and long lasting impacts on the world around her. Woolf experienced a lifetime of internal conflict and circumstances that were out of her control that eventually drove her to suicide in 1941. Plagued with a history of mental illness and influenced by her nonconformity, her writings have created new outlooks to be explored on topics such as modernism, feminism, androgyny in literature, as well as countless others.... [tags: Feminism, Sociology, Virginia Woolf, Mrs Dalloway]
1277 words (3.6 pages)
- Virginia Woolf - Moving Beyond a Convoluted Memory of Her Parents Why would I start with Julia Duckworth Stephen to get to Virginia Woolf. One answer is Virginia’s often quoted statement that "we think back through our mothers if we are women" (Woolf, A Room of One’s Own). Feminism is rooted not just in a response to patriarchy but also in the history of females and their treatment of each other. Part of feminism is a reevaluation of the value of motherhood. But what does Virginia’s mother have to do with Virginia’s writing.... [tags: Virginia Woolf]
2260 words (6.5 pages)