Essay on Reader Response to Woolf’s To The Lighthouse

1510 Words7 Pages
Reader Response to Woolf’s To The Lighthouse There is a saying that the worth of a man’s life is best measured by the degree to which he has if he has touched the lives of others and not by the quantity of worldly possessions that he has acquired. It is important to keep this in mind when considering Virginia Woolf’s novel, To The Lighthouse. Throughout the novel, it seems as though the characters, mainly Mr. And Mrs. Ramsay, are trying to find worth in their lives. As a first time reader of the novel, it immediately seemed clear to me that the eight children that Mr. And Mrs. Ramsay have bore and raised gives significant worth to their lives; however, they feel that they need more. They both appear to be good and decent…show more content…
Here’s a book you might like and so on. And after all, - after all (here insensibly she drew herself together, physically, the sense of her own beauty becoming, as it did so seldom, present to her) – after all, she had not generally any difficulty in making people like her; for instance, George Manning; Mr. Wallace…(41) She goes on to think about other people whom she has touched and who have opened up to her and cried to her and who love her, adore her and need her. At this point, she realizes that she does thrive on this and she needs this to feel her own worth; that all of her acts of charity and kindness are for her own self-satisfaction. And her reward is the praise and trust and admiration that receives in return. This is where it becomes apparent that Mrs. Ramsay is measuring her self-worth based on the number of people who need and depend on her. Mr. Ramsay is also looking to be needed, only for him, this need is not measured on how he can nurture other people; rather, it is measured by his intellect. From the very beginning, when Mr. Ramsay says, “it won’t be fine.”, referring to tomorrow’s weather, we see that he is supposed to be a man of knowledge (4). When Mrs. Ramsay questions his ability to tell what the future weather will be, he becomes enraged. He goes on to think about the many experiences that he has had, and he believes that these experiences make him knowledgeable and it disgraces him to be questioned.
Open Document