BOOK REVIEW: TO THE LIGHTHOUSE BY VIRGINIA WOOLF

Title: To the Lighthouse

Author: Virginia Woolf

Publisher: Hogarth Press

Genre: Classic Literature

First Publication: 1927

Language: English

Major Characters:James Ramsay, Mrs. Ramsay, Mr. Ramsay, Lily Briscoe, Paul Rayley, Minta Doyle, Charles Tansley, William Bankes, Augustus Carmichael, Andrew Ramsay, Jasper Ramsay, Roger Ramsay, Prue Ramsay, Rose Ramsay, Nancy Ramsay, Cam Ramsay, Mrs. McNab

Setting Place: Isle of Skye, Scotland 1910-1920

Theme:Envy, Religion, Desire, Creativity, Work, Class and Power

NarratorThird individual, who shifts frequently from the perspective from one individual to the perceptions that of the following.

Book Summary: To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf

The beautiful and loving Mrs. Ramsay, the tragic yet hilarious Ramsay, the tragic and hilarious Mr. Ramsay, and their children as well as their guests are currently on vacation at Isle of Skye. Isle of Skye.

From the seemingly insignificant postponement of a trip to a lighthouse nearby, Woolf creates a fascinating emotional examination of the intricate family tensions and the allegiances that define life as well as the tension between women and men.

As time moves through their lives The Ramsays are confronted, all on their own simultaneously, the biggest of human struggles and most awe-inspiring triumph: the human capacity to change.

Book Review: To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf

To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf is divided in three sections: The Window, Time Passes The Lighthouse, and Time Passes. The Lighthouse. In the first we are introduced to The Ramsey family as well as their visitors in their summer house situated in the Hebrides. There isn’t much dialogue, as well as a lot of actionthe prose is reflection and stream of consciousness. We go from one character to the next and spend time in each individual’s mind before jumping again.

The second portion covers around a decadein the time that World War I happens and many characters are killed. In the end the remaining Ramsay group gathers in the summer home once more and, this time most likely, they’ll go to the lighthouse.

“What is the purpose of life? This was an easy question that was likely to narrow in on itself with the passing of time The big reveal had never been realized. The great revelation perhaps never did come. There were instead a few everyday miracles, lightbulbs and matches that struck suddenly in darkness; here is one .”

The Lighthouse of Virginia Woolf is such a classic of contemporary English literature that I’m afraid I won’t be able to add anything beyond stating that I loved the book. I was impressed by the precision that the author wrote, the way Virginia would write about scenes from different viewpoints and the way characters would debate each other.

The characters of To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf are revealed slowly, through a series of steps as if they were an Polaroid however, they are splintered and never completely in focus. The voice is intimate deep, intimate and piercing. But there is an overwhelming sadness in the realization of numerous things that can’t be comprehended, and can never be explained.

An expression of the incomparable gap between people when they are left to speculate on the other without realizing, never really comprehending but never really connecting.

“And all the lives we ever lived and all the lives to be are full of trees and changing leaves.”

The passing of time cuts through the middle of the story in huge fissures, suddenly and permanently halting every action and making all words silent and meaningless. The fragility of human existence, and its insignificantness. Every significance is put to be questioned. It is left to us (through Lily) to make sense of the whole to consider what could be the case; to look over the pieces and puzzle at how they can be incorporated to form a coherent whole.

The lighthouse is it’s a subtle and mysterious metaphor which conveys the notion of distance, impermanence, and solitude however, it also represents light and the protection of life from the harsh undifferential elements of the natural world. These layers of meaning pervade the text and infiltrate the characters’ goals, their dreams the fears they have, their failings.

The novel is all about these things, yet there’s more.

When she was an author, Virginia Woolf was quite fascinated by the scientific theories that were prevalent in her time. There was, in fact some of her personal writings that praise her work in this area and the numerous technological advances that were made around the beginning of the century, which was a time that was celebrated by the famous Charles Darwin. Woolf’s primary focus was not necessarily on natural selection, although its influence is evident–but her writing on theories, theories and the literature that surround the theory of thermodynamics.

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