To the Lighthouse
To the Lighthouse (5 May 1927) is a novel by Virginia Woolf. A landmark novel of high modernism, the text, centering on the Ramsay family and their visits to the Isle of Skye in Scotland between 1910 and 1920, skillfully manipulates temporality and psychological exploration. To the Lighthouse follows and extends the tradition of modernist novelists like Marcel Proust and James Joyce, where the plot is secondary to philosophical introspection, and the prose can be winding and hard to follow. The novel includes little dialogue and almost no action; most of it is written as thoughts and observations. The novel recalls the power of childhood emotions and highlights the impermanence of adult relationships. One of the book's several themes is the ubiquity of transience. (From feedbooks.com)
The curriculet is being added to your library
Part 1 Chapter 1
"Be up with the lark" is an idiom meaning to be awake and out of your bed early in the morning.
There are several different points of view. Watch this video to learn more. (This annotation contains a video)
The opening paragraph of the novel begins with a long description of the thoughts and feelings of the characters Mrs. Ramsay and her son, James Ramsay. This long, introspective paragraph is characteristic of Woolf's modernist style. To the Lighthouse follows and extends the tradition of modernist novelists like Marcel Proust and James Joyce, where the plot is secondary to philosophical thoughts, making the novel hard to follow. The novel includes little dialogue and almost no action; most of it is written as thoughts and observations. Try to suspend your need for a plot-driven novel and, instead, try to appreciate the insights into the characters as the novel unfolds.
What type of point of view is used in this novel?
Who is Mrs. Ramsay upset at?
"Disappearing as stealthily as stags" is an example of which of the following literary devices?
How does Mr. Tansley feel about Mrs. Ramsay?
Much of the dialogue in the story is
Get some more information about Virginia Woolf's biography in Part 1 or the three part series below. (This annotation contains a video)
The narrator shares the thoughts of each character as they are happening, in a stream of consciousness style, which shows the real time thought pattern of each character. Here, Mr. Tansley has a thought, that Mrs. Ramsay is "the most beautiful person he had ever seen," but then immediately questions his own thought. Although this is a very realistic way to show the way that an individual's thoughts might occur, it can be confusing for the reader who is attempting to understand each character. The style of "stream of consciousness" is slightly different than the way interior monologue is used to show the thoughts of characters because the thoughts are shared in the voice of the character, not the voice of the narrator.
Why is the phrase "He had a hold of her bag" repeated in the thoughts of Mr. Tansley?
Here is Part 2 of the biography of Virginia Woolf. (This annotation contains a video)
Here is Part 3 of Virginia Woolf's biography. (This annotation contains a video)
Part 1 Chapter 2
Mrs. Ramsay feelings about Mr. Tansley can be described as
Part 1 Chapter 3
What is the best example of auditory imagery in this paragraph?
Chapter 1-3 Quiz
Part 1 Chapter 4
Who knocks down Lily's easel?
An allusion is a figure of speech whereby the author refers to a subject matter such as a place, event, or literary work by way of a passing reference. It is up to the reader to make a connection to the subject being mentioned.The words recited here are from a poem, Tennyson’s “Charge of the Light Brigade.” The poem tells of 600 soldiers marching bravely to their death. Here are the last lines of the poem: When can their glory fade? O the wild charge they made! All the world wonder’d. Honour the charge they made! As you read, try to make a connection between the meaning of the poem and the emotions of the person referencing it.
Jacmanna, or Clematis 'Jackmanii,' is a Clematis cultivar which, when it was introduced in 1862, was the first of the modern large-flowered hybrid clematises of gardens. It is a climber with large violet-purple blooms, still among the most familiar climbers seen in gardens. It is pictured below. (This annotation contains an image)
Many individuals apply a feminist reading of To the Lighthouse through the character of Lily Briscoe. Lily is an artist and an unmarried woman who goes against that traditional women's roles of caring for a family, like Mrs. Ramsay does. In fact, Mrs. Ramsay and Lily can be read as oppositional in nature, and representing two different types of women, the more traditional and the more progressive. Keep an eye out for elements of the text that seem to be saying something about gender.
Pay close attention to the next two paragraphs. They are a fantastic example of how Woolf uses time in the novel. In one single moment, Bankes is going to give details about the past, present and future. His thoughts, althought they occur in one moment, span many time periods. Some people find this contemplative tone confusing, but it is key to Woolf's literary style.
"To feed eight children on philosophy," means
A theme seems to be emerging here, and you can watch this video to learn more: (This annotation contains a video)
Part 1 Chapter 5
Mrs. Ramsay is primarily concerned with
"Her simplicity fathomed what clever people falsified. Her singleness of mind made her drop plumb like a stone, alight exact as a bird" is an example of what literary device?
Part 1 Chapter 6
Watch the video below to learn about literal versus figurative language, which you will be asked about later in this chapter. (This annotation contains a video)
Here, Woolf uses repetition to reinforce the thoughts and feelings of a character. Mr. Ramsay is embarrassed by his interaction with Lily and William. "He shivered; he quivered," starts an explanation of his feelings and is repeated once the thoughts are explained. The effect is a realistic account of how people 'beat themselves up' for negative interactions or incidents.
Mr. Ramsay believes that his wife is
Re-read the extended metaphor presented by Mr. Ramsay. He compares thinking to an alphabet. Describe a few of his conclusions, making sure to give the literal and figurative meaning.
Chapter 4-6 Quiz
Part 1 Chapter 7
Sigmund Freud was an Austrian neurologist who became known as the founding father of psychoanalysis. It is clear in this text that Woolf was exposed to his revolutionary ideas. The relationship between James and his parents is representative of a concept Freud thought of, called the Oedipus complex. In psychoanalytic theory, the term Oedipus complex explains that individuals experience the unconscious desire to sexually possess the parent of the opposite sex (e.g. males attracted to their mothers, whereas females are attracted to their fathers). In classical Freudian psychoanalytic theory, child's identification with the same-sex parent is the successful resolution of the Oedipus complex.
What does James compare his mother to in this passage? His father? What do these comparisons say about his feelings about each of his parents?
The fairy tale Mrs. Ramsay is reading is from the Brothers Grimm. Here is a short synopsis: A poor fisherman who lives with his wife catches a golden flounder who claims to be an enchanted prince. He releases it. His wife says he ought to have had the flounder grant him a wish. His wife demands that he ask the flounder to grant her wish for a nice house. The fisherman makes up a rhyme to summon the flounder, and it grants the wife's wish. However, the wife gets greedy and makes increasingly outrageous demands: a castle so she can become queen, then empress and finally pope. The fisherman knows this is wrong but there is no reasoning with his wife. The flounder grants the wishes, eventually the wife goes too far when she wishes to become equal to God. The flounder revokes everything it granted, and the fisherman and his wife are back to life as they were before.
Take a look at an illustrated version of the Fisherman and his Wife, the Grimm's fairy tale that Mrs. Ramsay is reading to James. Watching the fairy tale may help you in Chapter 10 when part of the tale is told in between the thoughts of Mrs. Ramsay. (This annotation contains a video)
Part 1 Chapter 8
Mrs. Ramsay sees her primary purpose in life to be
A recurring structure in the novel is for Woolf to introduce a character to a scene at the end of one chapter and then begin the new chapter with that character's thoughts or the thoughts of those effected by the new character. Woolf also rarely identifies the character by name in the new paragraph, instead referring to them with a pronoun. Although this may seem arbitrary, it effects the way time is perceived in the novel. Generally, a chapter is a marker of time in a novel. One chapter ends, another begins. However, in this text, Woolf makes her chapters blend together. Time, both structurally and thematically is important in the text. Try to pay attention to the passage, or lack of the passage, of time.
Mr. Ramsay finds comfort in
As you consider the way Woolf chose to structure her novel, watch this video to learn about structure. (This annotation contains a video)
Part 1 Chapter 9
What stops Lily from criticizing Mrs. Ramsay?
Lily is disappointed in her art, which is her way of making meaning in her life. She feels Mr. Tansley's criticism of female artists and allows them to make her insecure about her own work. It seems that through Lily, Woolf is commenting on the larger state of women. Take note when Lily seems to be representative of all women artists.
The crumpled glove is a __________ for Mrs. Ramsay's essence.
Why does Lily believe that "an unmarried woman has missed the best of life"? What, specifically, does Mrs. Ramsay have that Lily is missing in her life?
To not "care not a fig" is an old-fashioned idiom. It means that something or someone is not important to you at all. For example: "They can say what they like, I don't give a fig."
"Helter skelter" is an idiom means something done very quickly and without organization. For example: We all ran helter-skelter down the stairs as soon as the alarm sounded.
What does the following simile mean? Only like a bee, drawn by some sweetness or sharpness in the air intangible to touch or taste, one haunted the dome-shaped hive, ranged the wastes of the air over the countries of the world alone, and then haunted the hives with their murmurs and their stirrings; the hives, which were people.
Chapter 7-9 Quiz
What does "it" refer to in this paragraph?
Part 1 Chapter 10
Cam is Mrs. Ramsay's ________.
Why does Woolf repeat that Mrs. Ramsay is reading the story the Fisherman and his Wife?
What is the meaning of the word "boobies" in the context Mrs. Ramsay is using it?
When Mrs. Ramsay says "she must accept him, or she must refuse him," she means that
Minta, a new character in the novel, seems to have a different understanding of gender than Mrs. Ramsay. Think about how the different women in the text can be seen as "types" of women. What type of women does Mrs. Ramsay represent? Lily? Minta. Try to form conclusions as you read.
Which of the following summarizes what Mrs. Ramsay is saying here?
Take a look at the video below to see the way a Lighthouse lights the shore, similar to the rhythmic way that Mrs. Ramsay describes. Every time the Lighthouse is mentioned, pay close attention. The Lighthouse holds symbolic meaning in the text. To uncover the meaning of this symbol, first consider what the function of a Lighthouse is. A Lighthouse is a tower or other structure containing a beacon light to warn or guide ships at sea. Also, consider where the Lighthouse is in relation to the Ramsay household. It is, as Mrs. Ramsay says "across the bay." Also, consider the different characters responses to the Lighthouse. How does James feel about the Lighthouse? Mrs. Ramsay? Mr. Ramsay? Keep these questions in mind as this symbol develops throughtout the text (This annotation contains a video)
Part 1 Chapter 11
What is Mrs. Ramsay afraid that James will never forget?
Notice the lyrical and rhythmic quality of the passage and its comparison to the rhythm of the Lighthouse.
Which of the following words best describes how Mrs. Ramsay sees the world?
Whose thoughts are being expressed at the end of the chapter?
Part 1 Chapter 12
Who is Prue?
The fact that Mrs. Ramsay and Mr. Ramsay "both felt uncomfortable" shows that they feel ____________ in their relationship.
According to Mrs. Ramsay, what is the main difference between herself and her husband?
This line is an allusion to "The Invitation," a poem by Percy Bysshe Shelley. Here are the opening lines: Best and brightest, come away! Fairer far than this fair Day, Which, like thee to those in sorrow, Comes to bid a sweet good-morrow To the rough Year just awake In its cradle on the brake.
Chapter 10-12 Quiz
Part 1 Chapter 13
Good Friday is a religious holiday observed primarily by Christians commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and his death at Calvary. The holiday is observed during Holy Week on the Friday preceding Easter Sunday.
Why does Lily see Mr. & Mrs. Ramsay as the "symbols of marriage"?
Tiziano Vecelli, known in English as Titian, was an Italian painter, the most important member of the 16th-century Venetian school. Titian was one of the most versatile of Italian painters, equally adept with portraits, landscape backgrounds, and mythological and religious subjects. His painting methods, particularly in the application and use of color, would exercise a profound influence not only on painters of the Italian Renaissance, but on future generations of Western art. A self portrait that the artist made is below. (This annotation contains an image)
Charles Robert Darwin, a very important scientist, was an English naturalist. He established that all species of life have descended over time from common ancestors, and proposed the scientific theory that this branching pattern of evolution resulted from a process that he called natural selection, in which the struggle for existence has a similar effect to the artificial selection involved in selective breeding.
Part 1 Chapter 14
Why does Andrew feel disdain for "taking women on walks"?
To whom does Nancy compare herself?
Here is another moment in the text where the past, present and future seem to converge. Pay close attention to what the novel is saying about time, both in its structure and in the lines of the text.
Part 1 Chapter 15
Why does this chapter contain the answer to a question asked in Chapter 13?
Virgina Woolf's writing style shows the characteristics of Modernism. Modernism is characterized by a self-conscious break with traditional styles of poetry and verse. Modernists experimented with literary form and expression, adhering to Ezra Pound's maxim to "Make it new."The modernist literary movement was driven by a conscious desire to overturn traditional modes of representation and express the new sensibilities of their time. The horrors of the First World War saw the prevailing assumptions about society reassessed. Thinkers such as Sigmund Freud questioned the rationality of mankind.
Part 1 Chapter 16
What does Mrs. Ramsay want to "happen" on the walk?
Daube is a classic Provençal (or more broadly, French) stew made with inexpensive beef braised in wine, vegetables, garlic, and herbs de Provence, and traditionally cooked in a daubière, a braising pan. The meat used in daube is cut from the shoulder and back of the bull, though some suggest they should be made from three cuts of meat: the "gelatinous shin for body, short ribs for flavor, and chuck for firmness." The stew is pictured below. (This annotation contains an image)
Why is Mrs. Ramsay's comment "For one's children so often gave one's own perceptions a little thrust forwards," ironic?
Mrs. Ramsay reinforces Victorian ideals of gender on herself and reinforces them in her children. Again, one of the the novel's themes is a comment on these roles. What do Mrs. Ramsay's expectations look like when considered beside her feelings about her marriage? How are they compared to the other women around her?
Chapter 13-16 Quiz
Part 1 Chapter 17
Chapter 17 begins with Mrs. Ramsay questioning the meaning of her life, just as she is sitting down to a large dinner party that she has orchestrated. This comment makes it seem as though the tone of the chapter will be somber, but the tone shifts throughout this chapter. The chapter is quite long compared to the other chapters in the novel, and it shifts perspectives quite frequently, so make sure to pay close attention as the details of the scene unfold. To learn more about tone and mood, watch the video below. (This annotation contains a video)
Mrs. Ramsay sees her life's work as__________, similar to how Lily sees her life's work as___________.
Explain the meaning of the simile "she began all this business, as a sailor not without weariness sees the wind fill his sail and yet hardly wants to be off again and thinks how, had the ship sunk, he would have whirled round and round and found rest on the floor of the sea."
What is clarified when Lily compares herself to Mr. Bankes?
A salt cellar is like a salt shaker. (This annotation contains an image)
What word best describes how Mr. Tansley views women?
What is the difference between Mr. Bankes and Mr. Tansley?
Notice that Mr. Bankes asks himself the same question that Mrs. Ramsay asked herself at the beginning of the chapter. A them seems to be emerging through the questions of the characters. Pay attention to other characters having similar thoughts.
When Lily wonders "how would it be...if neither of us did these things," what does she mean?
Describe how Lily views women and men.
Although all the members of the dinner party are sitting together, they seem separate. No one seems to be able to find a common point of connection. Ironically, each one of them, though seemingly disparate, is thinking the same thing.
Before the candles are lit, the dinner party can be described as ________.
Here, Mrs. Ramsay makes two references to Roman mythology. Neptune, the god of the sea and Bacchus, the god of wine. The 12 main Roman gods are pictured below. See if you can figure out who is Neptune and who is Bacchus. (This annotation contains an image)
After the candles are lit, everyone in the dinner party changes from _______ to _______.
Harum-scarum means lacking a sense of responsibility; reckless.
What statement best describes how Lily feels about Mrs. Ramsay?
What does Lily mean when she says that being with the Ramsays made her "feel violently two opposite things at the same time"? What are these opposing forces?
Mrs. Ramsay uses many similes to express her joy about the dinner party working out. What does she NOT compare her feelings to?
What does Mrs. Ramsay mean in her metaphor about "light stealing under water"?
When Mrs. Ramsay thinks "she wished it was not necessary," what does she mean?
Mrs. Ramsay compares her dinner party to "a service at a cathedral" almost recognizing the holiness and beauty of the fleeting moment that the dinner party has created. This moment also seems to foreshadow the transient nature of this moment, implying that it must end. The video below will shed some light on the subject of foreshadowing. (This annotation contains a video)
Mr. Ramsay is quoting lines from Charles Elton's poem "Luriana, Lurilee." The entire text is below: Come out and climb the Garden path Luriana, Lurilee. The China rose is all abloom And buzzing with the yellow bee. We'll swing you on the cedar bough, Luriana, Lurilee. I wonder if it seems to you, Luriana, Lurilee, That all the lives we ever lived And all the lives to be, are full of trees and changing leaves, Luriana, Lurilee. How long it seems since you and I, Luriana, Lurilee, Roamed in the forest where our kind Had just begun to be, And laughed and chattered in the flowers, Luriana, Lurilee. How long since you and I went out, Luriana,Lurilee, To see the Kings go riding by Over lawn and daisy lea, With their palm leaves and cedar sheaves, Luriana, Lurilee. Swing, swing, swing on a bough, Luriana, Lurilee, Till you sleep in a humble heap Or under a gloomy churchyard tree, And then fly back to swing on a bough, Luriana, Lurilee.
Chapter 17 Quiz
Part 1 Chapter 18
What "event" that is "done" is Lily referring to?
The horrifying image of the "horrid skull" of an "old pig" at the beginning of this chapter is juxtaposed with the serene scene of the previous chapter. It is clear that as the members of the dinner party disperse, so too does their sense of connection. Woolf's novel seems to mimic the rhythm of the waves or the turning light of the Lighthouse, everything comes and goes.
Notice that talk of the Lighthouse returns as the dinner party ends. So does Mrs. Ramsay's anger at her husband and Mrs. Tansley, even though just moments ago, she seemed more fond of them than she ever had. Woolf presents these seemingly contradictory events without a sense of irony. It is possible for one's emotions to change. Emotions, like time are fleeting and complex.
What does the engagement of Paul and Minta represent to Mrs. Ramsay?
Part 1 Chapter 19
Sir Walter Scott, 1st Baronet was a Scottish historical novelist, playwright, and poet, popular throughout much of the world in the 19th century. Scott was the first English-language author to have a truly international career in his lifetime, with many contemporary readers in Europe, Australia, and North America. His novels and poetry are still read, and many of his works remain classics of both English-language literature and of Scottish literature. Famous titles include Ivanhoe, Rob Roy, The Lady of the Lake, Waverley, The Heart of Midlothian and The Bride of Lammermoor. Although primarily remembered for his extensive literary works and his political engagement, Scott was an advocate, judge and legal administrator by profession, and throughout his career combined his writing and editing work with his daily occupation as Clerk of Session and Sheriff-Depute of Selkirkshire. (This annotation contains an image)
The lines Mrs. Ramsay sees are from a Shakespearean sonnet. The entire sonnet's text is below: From you have I been absent in the spring, When proud-pied April, dress'd in all his trim, Hath put a spirit of youth in every thing, That heavy Saturn laughed and leapt with him. Yet nor the lays of birds, nor the sweet smell Of different flowers in odour and in hue, Could make me any summer's story tell, Or from their proud lap pluck them where they grew: Nor did I wonder at the lily's white, Nor praise the deep vermilion in the rose; They were but sweet, but figures of delight, Drawn after you, you pattern of all those. Yet seemed it winter still, and you away, As with your shadow I with these did play.
Why, once the dinner party ends, do Mrs. Ramsay and Mr. Ramsay return to their former state of affairs?
A theme about memory, as it relates to time seems to be emerging. Pay close attention to the way that characters use memory in the text.
Honoré de Balzac was a French novelist and playwright. His magnum opus was a sequence of short stories and novels collectively entitled La Comédie Humaine, which presents a panorama of French life in the years after the 1815 fall of Napoleon Bonaparte. Due to his keen observation of detail and unfiltered representation of society, Balzac is regarded as one of the founders of realism in European literature. He is renowned for his multifaceted characters, who are morally ambiguous. His writing influenced many subsequent novelists such as Marcel Proust, Émile Zola, Charles Dickens, Edgar Allan Poe, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Gustave Flaubert, Benito Pérez Galdós, Marie Corelli, Henry James, William Faulkner, Jack Kerouac, and Italo Calvino, and philosophers such as Friedrich Engels and Karl Marx. Many of Balzac's works have been made into or have inspired films, and they are a continuing source of inspiration for writers, filmmakers and critics. (This annotation contains an image)
Chapter 18-19 Quiz
Part 2 Chapter 1
Watch this video to learn about the subject of pacing in literature: (This annotation contains a video)
An ongoing theme in the structure of the novel is the passage of time. In the first section of the novel, "The Window," time is marked not my events, but rather the inner worlds of the characters. Time moves slowly in Part 1. However, Part 2, aptly titled "Time Passes" focused on a more common chronological structure. Time will pass more quickly. The dialogue about needing to "'wait for the future to show,'" adds to this theme and prepares the reader for the future they are about to witness. Pay close attention to the concept of time in the novel, as it passes in the narrative and how it plays out through the structure of the novel.
Part 2 Chapter 2
The chapter begins with "a downpouring of immense darkness." What could darkness be symbolic for? Following the symbolism, what might light symbolize?
Who or what does "them" refer to in the following passage: "Almost one might imagine them, as they entered the drawing room questioning and wondering"?
Part 2 Chapter 3
"The winter holds a pack of them in store and deals them equally, evenly, with indefatigable fingers" is an example of what literary device?
Why is the news of Mrs. Ramsay's death given in brackets?
Part 2 Chapter 4
A major character has just died, but the novel returns to the descriptions of objects and how the passage of time has affected them. Consider what comment Woolf might be making about time in these poetic passages filled with vivid imagery.
Mrs. McNab is the
Part 2 Chapter 5
Chapter 1-5 Quiz
In this chapter, 'she' refers to
Part 2 Chapter 6
The tone of this passage can be best described as
The novel opened up before WWI began, but as "time passes," the effect of the war ravages the Ramsay family. Many people read the entire novel as metaphor for the effects of war. In this reading, Part 1 would be Victorian life before the war, Part 2 is the ravages of war and Part 3 deals with the pact on survivors of the war.
Andrew dies in WWI, a war that sets the historical context for the novel. Take a look at the quick video below for a crash course in the history of the war. (This annotation contains a video)
Part 2 Chapter 7
How much time has passed in Chapter 7?
Part 2 Chapter 8
What is the purpose of describing objects in this chapter?
Mrs. McNab is talking about
Part 2 Chapter 9
This is the first mention of the Lighthouse in Part 2 of the novel. In Part 1, the Lighthouse was a central symbol, emanating throughout the section, while here, it is shedding light on the destruction of the house. Consider what this symbolic shift might mean for the themes the novel seems to be developing about time.
If the novel is to be read as a metaphor about war, what can Mrs. McNab, Mrs. Bast and George attempting to save the house "from the pool of Time" represent?
What does all information relayed in brackets have in common?
Part 2 Chapter 10
When the chapter begins with "peace had come," it refers to what event?
The novel, as mentioned previously, seems to have a wave-like rhythm. The beginning was a lull, the 'waves' seemed to be crashing destructively in Part 2, and now the waves are receding back into the ocean. "Gently the waves would break," and "tenderly the light fell" cue to readers that the harsh tone that has dominated Part 2 is finally subsiding.
Chapter 6-10 Quiz
Part 3 Chapter 1
The third section of the novel begins with an anxious question: "What does it mean?" After the harsh events of Part 2, and the seemingly incongruous structure of the text, readers may be wondering the same thing. Notice the structure of time as the three parts of the novel tie together. Part 1 was one day beginning in the morning and ending after dinner. Part 2 spanned ten years, while Part 3 seems to almost pick up where Part 1 left off. However, the characters must now reconcile themselves with the events that have passed in Part 2. Lily's question then becomes a structural and thematic device.
Lily's feelings about returning to the Ramsay's place after all the time has passed mirrors
Part 3 Chapter 2
In Lily's belief system, what is the best way to make sense of the world?
To explore some of the similarities between Part 3 and Part 1, watch this short clip: (This annotation contains a video)
When Lily thinks "she could not see colour; she could not see the lines," what does she mean?
What does Lily's interaction with Mr. Ramsay suggest about men in relation to women's art?
Part 3 Chapter 3
Lily's inability to comfort Mr. Ramsay mirrors what event in Part 1?
What literary device is contained in the passage "she could not sustain this enormous weight of sorrow, support these heavy draperies of grief...a moment longer"?
What is the meaning of the metaphor in this passage?
Which quote contains an example of alliteration?
What event changed Lily and Mr. Ramsay's interaction from awkward to united?
Part 3 Chapter 4
The metaphor in this passage compares
According to Lily, what are the challenges of being a woman artist?
What is "like a work of art"?
Chapter 1-4 Quiz
Part 3 Chapter 5
Where are the Ramsays going?
How do the Ramsay children feel about their father?
Conflict is a cornerstone of literature, and this video will tell you more about the two different kinds of conflict: internal and external. (This annotation contains a video)
Mr. Ramsay's feelings about gender roles are
This quote is an allusion to “The Castaway” by William Cowper. The last lines of the poem read: "No voice divine the storm allay'd, No light propitious shone; When, snatch'd from all effectual aid, We perish'd, each alone: But I beneath a rougher sea, And whelm'd in deeper gulfs than he."
Briefly describe Mr. Ramsay's feelings about women and how they are different than men.
What is the conflict that Cam feels?
Part 3 Chapter 6
What is Lily suggesting about Mr. Ramsay's relationship to women?
What does Lily feel anxious about?
If William Bankes believes that a hole in a woman's stocking is "the annihilation of womanhood," what must he believe about the role of women?
Why would Lily "feel a little triumphant telling Mrs. Ramsay that the marriage had not been a success"?
Who is Paul Rayley?
Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino better, known simply as Raphael, was an Italian painter and architect of the High Renaissance. His work is admired for its clarity of form and ease of composition and for its visual achievement of the Neoplatonic ideal of human grandeur. Together with Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci, he forms the traditional trinity of great masters of that period. An example of his work is pictured below. (This annotation contains an image)
Lily's feelings about the relationship between life and art can be best described as
Part 3 Chapter 7
Chapter 7 repeats some structural notes from the previous portions of the text. It is an extremely short chapter, really only two sentences, and the events are symbolic. The chapter is relayed in brackets, just as the deaths of Mrs. Ramsay, Andrew and Prue were. The subject is death, a violent one at that, but the tone is unsentimental. Could this scene be a meditation on the meaning of life, an answer to Lily's prodding search for a reason to exist despite all the sorrow and pain? Could the fish be a reference to the fairy tale "The Fisherman's Wife," relayed by Mrs. Ramsay in Part 1? Chapter 7 could have many potentially symbolic readings. Try to gather evidence to support a symbolic interpretation of the death of the fish.
Part 3 Chapter 8
Who is the "old man" that Lily is mentioning?
Passages from Lily's perspective are often filled with the vivid imagery of her artist's imagination. The imagery is often coupled with figurative language to enhance the description. Please find one example of imagery and label it tactile, auditory, visual, olfactory, gustatory or kinesthetic imagery. Also, find one use of figurative language and label it simile, hyperbole, metaphor or personification.
Chapter 5-8 Quiz
Part 3 Chapter 9
Cam, James and Mr. Ramsay finally reach the Lighthouse. In a sense, the novel is coming full circle. The gentle rhythm of the Lighthouse seems to ebb and flow through the life of the Ramsay family. Think about the possible symbolic qualities of the Lighthouse as this chapter continues.
What is " that fierce sudden black-winged harpy, with its talons and its beak all cold and hard"?
Which of the following quotes does NOT contain figurative language?
Who is James referring to when he says "she"?
Part 3 Chapter 10
"The sea stretched like silk across the bay" is an example of what literary device?
Part 3 Chapter 11
What words and/or phrases create a fanciful mood at the beginning of this chapter?
The trip to the Lighthouse allows Cam to feel ___________ for her father.
Part 3 Chapter 12
Lily says that "so much depends...on distance". How can this quote be interpreted literally from Lily's artistic point of view? How can this idea be interpreted figuratively, especially considering WWI? What about the structure of the novel? How might this concept relate?
Notice how Lily's artistic temperament allows her to see not only individual objects, but also how they fit together. Lily can see the fragments of life, but also the way that each separate element relates. As the novel comes to a close, consider whose way of making sense of life prevails: Mr. Ramsay's philosophies, Mrs. Ramsay's reliance on marriage and the family, or Lily's artistic wonderings. Whose world view is most practical after WWI? Why?
How has Mr. Charmichael changed?
What line best paraphrases what Lily is saying in the highlighted text?
Lily says "one wanted fifty pairs of eyes to see with." How is this quote related to the theme and structure of the novel?
Who is Lily talking about here?
Part 3 Chapter 13
What is strange about the thoughts that James is having here?
What did James get that he "had been wanting"?
Notice that just as Lily was able to see the complexity of Mrs. Ramsay, it seems that Cam wonders about the nature of her father. She doesn't see his cruelty, but rather his frailty and she wonders about his subjectivity. It seems that Woolf is hinting at a larger theme. Try to uncover how this theme might also be related to the structure of the novel.
Part 3 Chapter 14
How does the Lighthouse function as a symbol? How does it both create, and then much later, mend the fragmented characters?
Here is a quick summary of the novel with a comprehensive review of the major plot points and characters. (This annotation contains a video)
Chapter 9-14 Quiz
The video below is the entire 1983 film length version of the novel directed by Colin Gregg. (This annotation contains a video)