To The Lighthouse

, published in 1927 is one of Virginia Woolf’s most successful novels written in a stream of consciousness style. The novel is divided into three parts, which revolve around the members of the Ramsey family and their guests during visits to their summer vacationing residence on the Isle of Skye. The central preoccupation within the novel however is not to be found within the lives of the characters, instead they are seen as being secondary to the overall grounding of the novel in the house itself. Woolf examines the actions of the characters and the passing of time from the perspective of the central symbol of the actual physical domestic space of the house.
The characterization of ...

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on the surf turns from a “soothing tattoo to her thoughts” to the “ghostly roll of drums remorselessly beat(ing) the measure of life”, and terrified the sound makes her think “of the destruction of the island and its engulfment in the sea”(23-24). The simple fact that sound of the pounding waves comes to her suddenly, whereas before it had been concealed by the sounds of conversations being held outside, points to the hollowness of the house.
Mrs. Ramsey works to maintain the house as being a protective barrier, which can be seen through her obsession with wanting to keep all the doors closed, effectively trying to bar the outside world from entering:
“At a certain moment, she supposed, the house would become so shabby that something must be done. If they could be taught to wipe their feet and not bring in the beach with them – that would be something…And the result of it was…that things got shabbier and got shabbier ...

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To The Lighthouse. (2008, February 29). Retrieved June 7, 2020, from
"To The Lighthouse.", 29 Feb. 2008. Web. 7 Jun. 2020. <>
"To The Lighthouse." February 29, 2008. Accessed June 7, 2020.
"To The Lighthouse." February 29, 2008. Accessed June 7, 2020.
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Added: 2/29/2008 03:59:40 AM
Category: English
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 718
Pages: 3

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