The Theme Of Interpersonal Relationship In Virginia Woolf's To The Lighthouse

Good Essays
Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse is a novel dedicated to human emotion and humanity’s innate yearn for interpersonal connection. Woolf’s novel shows how we humans relate and react to the world around us- how we feel about the events we experience, what we perceive about the people we so desperately want to feel close to, and how raw human connection can help us find purpose in our live. Whether it is Mrs. Ramsay tirelessly working to aid her husband in his war against himself or Mrs. McNab contemplating the lives of the people she cleans after, all the characters in Woolf’s novel lack human closeness and try to find that closeness through interpreting what those around them experience. As the novel and the First World War progress so do…show more content…
Ramsay 's need to read everyone, especially her husband, Woolf shows the loneliness Mrs. Ramsay feels even with her family close by. Woolf relies heavily on Mr. and Mrs. Ramsay’s relationship to represent and highlight each character’s need for connection. As previously stated, Mr. And Mrs. Ramsay are not happily married. Mrs. Ramsay tries to convince herself that she is content in her family life but her views on the life in general show that she is a deeply unhappy woman. In order to deal with this unhappiness, Mrs. Ramsay reads people as a way to feel close to them. She felt, “for the most part, oddly enough, she must admit that she felt this thing called life terrible, hostile, and quick to pounce on you if you gave it a chance (Woolf 60).” Those are not the life views of a happily married woman, or, in that case, a happy women in general. Mrs. Ramsay is one of the, if not the, loneliest character in To the Lighthouse. She looks towards her connections with her kids and husband as a path to take her away from that lonely feeling. When her kids and husband are happy she is happy. And she tries to insure that happiness through her readings of their needs. Mrs. Ramsay seeks Mr. Ramsay 's approval greatly. When she pleases him, Mrs. Ramsay feels more satisfied and connected to her husband. This is why she tries to read him whenever she can. By constantly knowing how her husband feels she can empathize with him and stay close to him. Staying connected to him…show more content…
Ramsay experiences effects how he reads his wife. Instead of seeking out of the good and looking for ways to empathize with his wife Mr. Ramsay constantly puts her down. After their dinner when Mrs. Ramsay lies in between a state of reading her book and sleep, Mr. Ramsay actively looks for reasons as to why she is inferior and less valuable as a person. He smiles at her, “quizzically, as if he were ridiculing her gently for being asleep in broad daylight, but at the same time he was thinking, Go on reading. You don’t look sad bow, he thought. And he wondered if sShe understood what she was reading, and exaggerated her ignorance my her simplicity, for he liked to think that she was not clever, not book-learned at all. Probably not, he thought (Woolf 121).” This truly shows how skewed Mr. Ramsay’s readings are of other people due to his own crippling insecurities. While Mrs. Ramsay continues daily to try to share an emotional bond with her husband, Mr. Ramsay just thinks derogatorily of her. This shows the root of their marital problems. Woolf further highlights the importance of reading to Mrs. Ramsay and the importance of reading his wife crookedly to Mr. Ramsay in the moments after between the couple when Mr.Ramsay wants his wife to say she loves him and she can’t. She feels she has “triumphed again (Woolf 124)” in not stating so. Although she can accurately signal to Mr. Ramsay that she loves him without saying so, this lack of ability to stay those three
Get Access