In Part One of the novel, “The Window”, Mrs Ramsay is the central focus and most influential figure. Mrs Ramsay is the epitome of Victorianism and does not want the new order to emerge. She is on a quest to uphold and instil traditional Victorian ideals into the children, such as marriage and the role that the wife must assume by giving her husband constant reassurance and empathy; “…an unmarried woman has missed the best of her life” (Woolf 43). Mrs Ramsay’s quest pays particular attention to Lily Briscoe, much to Lily’s objection, who believes that the current Victorian system cannot persist. In regards to Vladimir Propp, the scholar who identified the narrative elements in Russian folk tales, hi...
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...st differing from the next. Virginia Woolf has followed a modern quest narrative in the novel, an innovative style of writing for her era and especially as a woman in her era. When compared to Russian formalist scholar, Vladimir Propp, the quest narrative is quite different with only few similarities between Woolf’s modern quest narrative and Propp’s traditional quest narrative. If Woolf was to follow Propp’s thirty-one functions of a quest it would alter the novel completely, as while Propp’s theory may be accurate when writing folk tales it is not an effective structure to follow for a modernistic and revolutionary novel such as “To the Lighthouse” (Woolf, 1992).
Propp, Vladimir. Morphology of the Folktale. American Folklore Society. United States of America, 2003.
Woolf, Virginia. To the Lighthouse. Oxford University Press Inc. New York, 1992.
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