To The Lighthouse Essay

1732 Words 7 Pages
Pause, reflect, and the reader may see at once the opposing yet relative perceptions made between life, love, marriage and death in Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse. In this novel, Woolf seems to capture perfectly the very essence of life, while conveying life’s significance as communicated to the reader in light tones of consciousness arranged with the play of visual imagery. That is, each character in the novel plays an intrinsic role in that the individuality of other characters can be seen only through the former’s psyche. Moreover, every aspect of this novel plays a significant role in its creation. For instance; the saturation of the present by the past, the atmospheres conjoining personalities and separating them, and the moments …show more content…
It was always true. He was incapable of untruth; never tampered with a fact; never altered a disagreeable word to suit the pleasure or convenience of any mortal being, least of all of his own children...” (Woolf 8). This quality that Mr. Ramsay possesses, however positive or negative, is juxtaposed with that of an opposing quality which is characterized in Mrs. Ramsay: “But then again, it was the other thing too – not being able to tell him the truth, being afraid, for instance, about the greenhouse roof and the expense it would be...” (Woolf 45). To the Lighthouse, then, is really a story of a struggle between two kinds of truth – Mr. Ramsay’s and Mrs. Ramsay’s. For him, truth seems to be concrete, factual; for her, truth seems to be one’s endeavor toward truth. To further clarify this claim, I will make reference to a point in the novel in which the reader is able to see just how different Mr. and Mrs. Ramsay perceive life. It is when they are discussing their son Andrew, and what he might accomplish in life: “’Oh scholarships!’ she said. Mr. Ramsay thought her foolish for saying that, about a serious thing, like a scholarship. He should be very proud of Andrew if he got a scholarship, he said. She would be just as proud of him if he didn’t, she answered” (Woolf 74). The differing

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approaches of Mr. and Mrs. Ramsay, (whether perceived as right or wrong) present a choice between the former and the latter; which is indeed a matter of preference; of…