Finding Balance Between Chaos and Order in Woolf's To The Lighthouse Essay

Finding Balance Between Chaos and Order in Woolf's To The Lighthouse Essay

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Regardless if found in reality, both the present or past, or found in comparable literary works, the constant battle and endless war between order and chaos, emotions and thoughts, follows humanity mercilessly. These opposing concepts also take form in ideas such the thesis and the antitheses- that with every idea or concept, sooner or later an opposing force or contradicting theory will rise and ultimately challenge and change the previous state of society, individual or even in the natural world. The war that rages between order and chaos easily applies to this philosophical notion. Both states, chaos and order, seem to and most likely will continue to inevitably occur and then counter act the other. Although a society or an individual may experience a time of order and an alignment of society which promotes and preforms standards on both an ethical and moral scale, eventually the tides will turn and chaos will crash, spurred on by whatever opposing viewpoint there may stand to the previous one. This belief could mean that the world ultimately functions in chaos, that unless people achieve permanent order, no order truly occurs. However, besides the possibility that perhaps having a balance between order and chaos would actually provide the “true order” desired, it seems that rather then focusing on the society's order or chaos, as so commonly done, it would remain best to look inwards, at the individual. In other words, for people to find the balance of order and chaos, reason and emotion, restraint and passion, they must focus solely on their being and inner workings and develop, in their individual way, a means of maintaining that balance. In Virgina Woolf's acclaimed novel, To the Lighthouse, the characters Lilly Briscoe a...


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... to her dreams, goals and ambitions, regardless the pressures stormed upon her. “Yes, she thought, laying down her brush in extreme fatigue, I have had my vision.” (p.209) her final line reflects her state of completeness, that she feels content and comfortable with her choices, especially when compared with those of more traditional women. This profound sense of clarity and self-reliance that Lily finds can only stand as a near perfect example of the way in which an individual can separate themselves from society, maintain their personal balance, and lead a content, all though perhaps rarely achieved, life. However, one must assume such an achievement would sit much higher on the wobbly shelf of reality then in the masterfully crafted literary work of Virginia Woolf.











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