The Lighthouse By Virginia Woolf Essay

The Lighthouse By Virginia Woolf Essay

Length: 1364 words (3.9 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

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 the ways in which Woolf’s characters go about reading people and finding connection and meaning in their lives. The two characters show this evolution the most are Mr. Ramsay and Lily Briscoe.
In order understand how the characters evolve in how they read each other between parts one and three, it is important see the similarities between the narrative arc of the war and the emotional pain of the Ramsay 's and Lily Briscoe feel. As the people of Europe feel pain, loss , and the need to heal in terms of the war, so do Lily and Mr. Ramsay in terms of those they have lost.
In part one of the book the reader can easily see that all of the characters are miserable. This misery takes form in detachment, insecurities, depression, and feelings of loneliness. Woolf makes it very clear that both Mr. Ramsay and Lily suppress these emotions. Suppressing these emotions, is one of the reasons why Mr. Ramsay and Lily have distorted ways of reading people in part one.
Through Mrs. Ramsay 's need to read ...


... middle of paper ...


... unrecognizable. These feelings manifest themselves in Lily’s skewed readings of the Ramsay’s relationship. While Lily is able to acknowledge Mr. Ramsay 's shortcomings, Mrs. Ramsay’s unhappiness, and the downfalls of love, she still see the Ramsay 's as happily in love. After an afternoon of painting, while putting away her brushes, Lily sees the couple interact. “What she call(s) ‘being in love’ flood(s) them. They became part of that unreal but penetrating and exciting universe which is the world seen through the eyes of love (Woolf 46-47).” Because of the completely false nature of Lily’s reading, this shows how greatly she longs for this type of connection. Because Lily lacks this connection in her life she sees it where it does not exist. To Lily love is “beautiful and necessary.” Therefore she craves love in ways that affect her ability to read other people.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Evolution of the Modern Woman in Virginia Woolf's To the Lighthouse Essay

- Evolution of the Modern Woman in Virginia Woolf's To the Lighthouse Virginia Woolf's To the Lighthouse examines the role of women or more specifically, the evolution of the modern woman. The two main female characters in the novel, Mrs Ramsay and Lily Briscoe, both represent different views on life and follow different paths on their search for meaning. Lily Briscoe transcends the traditional female gender roles embodied by Mrs Ramsay; by coming into her own as an independent and modern woman, she symbolises the advent of modernism and rejection of traditional Victorian values....   [tags: To The Lighthouse Essays Virginia Woolf ]

Better Essays
1478 words (4.2 pages)

The Lighthouse By Virginia Woolf Essay

- 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....   [tags: Emotion, Marriage, Love, Virginia Woolf]

Better Essays
1364 words (3.9 pages)

To The Lighthouse, by Virginia Woolf Essay example

- The opening scene of To The Lighthouse between Mr Ramsay and Mrs Ramsay displays the gender division that flows throughout this passage highlighting Woolf’s own perspective on society and sexuality between genders. Woolf supports the belief in a complete change to society resulting in a non – hierarchical society. Woolf felt for this to happen aside from the practical changes, that a radical redefinition of sexuality was also needed. The novel focuses on sexual issues of the twentieth century central to feminist campaigns, such as marriage being a form of institutionalized slavery ....   [tags: To The Lighthouse Essays]

Better Essays
1230 words (3.5 pages)

Virginia Woolf's To The Lighthouse Essay

-       She was not inventing; she was only trying to smooth out something she had been given years ago folded up; something she had seen. For  in the rough and tumble of daily life, with all those children about, all those visitors, one had constantly a sense of repetition-of one thing falling where another had fallen, and so setting up an echo which chimed in the air and made it full of vibrations. (199)   What causes that crumpling. What makes the accumulated images fold up over the years....   [tags: To The Lighthouse Essays]

Better Essays
1895 words (5.4 pages)

Essay on Fleeting Connections in Virginia Woolf's To the Lighthouse

- Fleeting Connections in Virginia Woolf's To the Lighthouse       In Virginia Woolf's To the Lighthouse, Mrs. Ramsay plays the role of a beautiful, dutiful wife and mother. She also is a peacekeeper, who struggles to find unity, even in situations where it seems that none can be found. Through Mrs. Ramsay's attempts to unify conditions, many characters experience an extreme sense of connection with her. Often, like Mrs. Ramsay's successful unifications, these connections are but fleeting ones, lasting only momentarily....   [tags: To The Lighthouse Essays]

Better Essays
1590 words (4.5 pages)

Importance of Brackets in Virginia Woolf's To The Lighthouse Essay

- Importance of Brackets in To The Lighthouse [Here Mr. Carmichael, who was reading Virgil, blew out his candle. It was midnight.] [Mr. Ramsay, stumbling along a passage one dark morning, stretched his arms out, but Mrs. Ramsay having died rather suddenly the night before, his arms, though stretched out, remained empty.] [Prue Ramsay died that summer in some illness connected with childbirth, which was indeed a tragedy, people said, everything, they said, had promised so well.] [A shell exploded....   [tags: To The Lighthouse Essays]

Better Essays
798 words (2.3 pages)

Essay on Analysis of Similes in Virginia Woolf's To the Lighthouse

- Analysis of Similes in Virginia Woolf's To the Lighthouse `Thoughts are made of pictures.' Our consciousness may be visualized as a photomontage of simultaneous impressions, mostly visual, according to poet John Ciardi (238). In verbalizing conscious experience, authors tend to use metaphor and simile to create images that, like words, possess both denotation, visual identification, and connotation, an emotional aura (Ciardi 239). In To the Lighthouse, by my count, Virginia Woolf employs over one hundred similes, figures of speech making an explicit comparison between two things essentially unlike, to enliven her description of things, places, and people....   [tags: To The Lighthouse Essays]

Better Essays
1756 words (5 pages)

Essay about An Insightful Journey in Virginia Woolf's To The Lighthouse

- An Insightful Journey in Woolf’s To The Lighthouse The lighthouse stands in the distance. It signifies a far off place that takes planning and work to reach. Depending on your perspective, the lighthouse may look different. It may appear large or small, short or tall, it may be dark and musty or bright and clear. Perspective is defined by Random House dictionary as "a broad view of events or ideas in their true nature and relationships". Virginia Woolf, in To The Lighthouse, takes an insightful journey into the true nature of relationships through the perspective of many different characters....   [tags: To The Lighthouse Essays]

Better Essays
1185 words (3.4 pages)

Essay on Self-realization in Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse

- Self-realization in Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse A Lighthouse is a structure or tower, which emits light in order to guide people, mainly mariners.  Virginia Woolf uses the meaning as a hidden symbol to guide readers to the deep unresolved feelings carried within the novel’s distraught characters.  As the novel progresses, the significance of the Lighthouse’s meaning slowly unravels.  The reader receives an insightful view into Mrs. and Mr. Ramsay’s complex everyday relationship while they raise their eight children and time passes.  Consequently, the reader realizes how important one individual is to the lives of others, or more figuratively how one bright and strong beam of...   [tags: Woolf To The Lighthouse Essays]

Better Essays
2133 words (6.1 pages)

An analysis of Virginia Woolf's To The Lighthouse Essay examples

- 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......   [tags: To The Lighthouse Essays]

Free Essays
404 words (1.2 pages)