Virginia Woolf's To The Lighthouse – Role of Wife and Mother Essay

Virginia Woolf's To The Lighthouse – Role of Wife and Mother Essay

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 To the Lighthouse – Role of Wife and Mother   

Woolf portrays the character of Mrs. Ramsay as a self sacrificing woman and mother as defined through her interactions with men: Charles Tansley, Mr. Carmichael, Paul, Mr. Bankes, Mr. Ramsay, and James. During Mrs. Ramsay's lifetime she is admired by most of these men, and is continually striving to be esteemed by all of them, at any sacrifice to herself. Although there is goodness in Mrs. Ramsay, not unselfishly given, there are also rising questions of this representation of mother by Woolf, primarily put forth through the characters of Lily and Mrs. Ramsay's daughters.

In thinking about herself as a mother, Mrs. Ramsay says that, "She often felt she was nothing but a sponge sopped full of human emotions."(p.32) She is the person responsible for appeasing the worries of her husband and caring for the needs of her children, not to mention the stray people, mostly men, for whom she cares. In this particular paragraph, she defines what is to be a woman, wife, and mother in England at the beginning of the centu...

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