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Summary ê To the Lighthouse ↠ PDF, DOC, TXT or eBook ✓ The serene and maternal Mrs Ramsay the tragic yet absurd Mr Ramsay and their children and assorted guests are on holiday on the Isle of Skye From the seemingly trivial postponement of a visit to a nearby lighthouse Woolf constructs a remarkable moving examinatiMent of a visit to a nearby lighthouse Woolf constructs a remarkable moving examination of the complex tensions and allegiances of family life and the conflict between men and. When I first read this novel I was like young James Ramsay eagerly hoping to get To The Lighthouse Grown ups literary experts that is had sent just as mixed messages as Mr and Mrs Ramsay to me and I hoped so much for the adventure of an iconic reading experience that it didn't happen I could acknowledge all the rational reasons for calling it a masterpiece but it did not cause me to even raise an eyebrow I was a modern young woman what did I have to do with the subtext of a patriarchal family structure What did I have to do with the self doubt of a female artist told by an idiot that women can't write can't paint Why would such a thing even stick in my head It didn't Not back thenAnd then time passedLife happened I learned about families About attention seeking egos who dominate an environment so totally that any creative act stops automatically I learned about the disruption that is a mother's natural state of being How can anyone paint or write if there are no two consecutive moments without interruption I learned to long for the lighthouse without knowing itAnd then I had another go at reading it uite by accident because I had spare time in a boring place and a copy of the book happened to be on the tableIt hit me like the flash of a lightningThis is a novel that you have to grow into but when you do it shines brightly in the dark waters and soothes the nerves of a grown up woman who has unfortunately learned what it means to hear the echo can't write can't paint who has learned to feel the presence of patriarchal attention and who has learned to know its effect on the surrounding It soothes the nerves of a woman who feels the pressure to be nice Powerful Lily Briscoe sums it up in the endHis immense self pity his demand for sympathy poured and spread itself in pools at their feet and all she did miserable sinner that she was was to draw her skirts a little closer round her ankles lest she should get wetIt's about focusing on moving the tree to the middle of the painting It's about creating one's own life regardless of whether it ends up not being important to anyone but oneself It's about daring not to be niceIt's not about reaching the Lighthouse It's about allowing oneself to see it shine in the distance

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WomenAs time winds its way through their lives the Ramsays face alone and simultaneously the greatest of human challenges and its greatest triumph the human capacity for change. “He smiled the most exuisite smile veiled by memory tinged by dreams” Virginia Woolf To The LighthouseTo The Lighthouse was my first exposure to Virginia Woolf I was working on a production of Edward Albee's Whose Afraid Of Virginia Woolf and I thought I should read something by Woolf For no particular reason I chose To The Lighthouse I remember enjoying it being fascinated by it but not really understanding what I'd read How could I have missed the brilliance and artistry of To The Lighthouse on my first read How could I have been so blind Sadly I could not see how Woolf shows us that time changes everything and importantly changes nothing I had read Dickens Twain the Brontes Austen Porter and Dostoyevsky and reveled in their insights on the human condition Why then was I so blind to what Woolf had to offer As I look back on this first reading I was probably too young and obviously too stupid to comprehend To The LighthouseYears later I became a huge fan of Woolf In fact I've been on Woolf binge the last two years but never found my way back to To The Lighthouse Fast forward to 2019 My friend Srđan was reading To The Lighthouse; his excitement was contagious so I decided to revisit To The Lighthouse I'm so glad I did Revisiting this book was a revelation She had known happiness exuisite happiness intense happiness and it silvered the rough waves a little brightly as daylight faded and the blue went out of the sea and it rolled in waves of pure lemon which curved and swelled and broke upon the beach and the ecstasy burst in her eyes and waves of pure delight raced over at the floor of her mind and she felt It is enough It is enough Virginia Woolf To the LighthouseWhat words would best describe To The Lighthouse exuisite impressionistic simple and most of all luminous The prose cradles and rocks the reader just like the sea that surrounds the Ramsay family Woolf saw To The Lighthouse as a reuiem to her parents and her childhood The themes here are marriage childhood parentage reminiscence and grief all themes familiar to WoolfTo The Lighthouse is a portrait of a family's holiday in the years before and after World War I Mrs Ramsay is at the center of this world a wife mother to eight children the hostess to the guests who fill the holiday home in the Hebrides where an expedition to the lighthouse may or may not happen Mrs Ramsay's spirit permeates every page of To The Lighthouse no easy feat considering the events that take placeAgain Woolf uses her stream of consciousness and multiple perspectives techniue This allows the reader a feeling of living in the pages of To The Lighthouse creating a very intimate experience for the reader To The Lighthouse is divided into three sections The Window Time Passes and The Lighthouse The first section portrays the tensions of her family's holiday the Ramsays have been joined by a group of friends and colleagues A planned journey to the fabled lighthouse lies at the center of section oneWe also meet painter Lily Briscoe early in the first section She is attempting to paint a picture of Mrs Ramsay and James but she is unsure of herself as an artist her confidence is shaken by Charles Tansley as he declares that women cannot write and cannot paint Lily or should we say Virginia will hear this thought echoing in her mind throughout the rest of her lifeThe second section To The Lighthouse is brilliant Time indeed does pass things have changed We learn what has happened to the Ramsay family over the past 10 years The house stands empty abandoned by the family these past 10 years for reasons you must discover on your own What fascinates me most about Time Passes is how the house becomes a character in its own right the house is a living thingIn the final section of To The Lighthouse members of the Ramsay family and their guests from ten years earlier return to the house another trip to the lighthouse is proposed We see the changes and importantly the lack of change that has taken place in the Ramsay family It is a fascinating view of both the Ramsay family and Lily Briscoe I find my review to be wanting This review none of our reviews can sum up what an extraordinary experience reading To The Lighthouse is To The Lighthouse is a captivating fascinating thought provoking novel that sparks endless introspection and reflection with its many intriguing themes Thank you Srđan for helping me to rediscover such a brilliant piece of writing

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To the LighthouseThe serene and maternal Mrs Ramsay the tragic yet absurd Mr Ramsay and their children and assorted guests are on holiday on the Isle of Skye From the seemingly trivial postpone. I’ve never dwelt over a set of 200 bound pages with as much joy and relish as I have with To the Lighthouse I can say without reservation that this is some of the most incredible writing I’ve ever come across and I’m absolutely baffled as to how Woolf pulled it off So much of the prose was redolent of an abstract surrealist film such were the clarity and preciseness of its images At a certain point Woolf describes an idea entering a character’s mind as a drop of ink diffusing in a beaker of water I left several exclamation points and expressions of pure joy among the marginalia of my copy I have never experienced such a strange brew of images and ideas that whirl around mere words of a novel all of which has incited such excitement in me as if some beautiful and aching aspect of human experience has been solidified on paper that will never be as perfect as it is here This book bounces back and forth between philosophy psychology and fictionalized story telling in such an interweaving of narrative and personal reflection that it may be difficult to discern who is thinking what and which thoughts are the result of whom This is especially predominant in the opening section when Woolf just shoves you into the churning waters of her prose and doesn’t throw you a life raft until 45 pages in The is intentional however because the book is preoccupied with consciousness at its most mercurial If at any time the prose is lucid and clear it is sure to take a turn for the chaotic within a few pages There is so much attention given to each individual’s neuroses and preoccupations that they are often magnified beyond your typical day to day worries The sights are bright and irritating; the sounds are cacophonous; and the emotional cues between each character the ones that are often subtle and implicit in everyday interaction are rendered as if each character holds eual parts pure malice and enthralling love that threatens to burst open at any second I thought about highly sensitive people; I thought of those with autism that experience overwhelming intensity from their sensual perception I thought of all of those that are under bombardment from the outer world tingling in its euphoric highs and devastating lows For some it may seem as though Woolf overly dramatizes experience but what she really does is puts her character through life at its most intense and acute The lives of the characters are so rich in emotion that dipping into their world for mere pages at a time is like taking a giant bump of the pure stuff getting tweaked on all the unbelievable wonder that is conscious experience I thought of Jeff Mangum’s infamous lyric how strange it is to be anything at allI was fortunate enough to have already read The Waves—a book uite similar in its themes and images—in a classroom setting with a brilliant professor It allowed me a way into Lighthouse that I might not have had otherwise If it wasn’t for this frame of reading I may have been a little too overwhelmed by the non stop poetic bombardment So I will say that my previous experience with Woolf helped tremendously I have no doubt that anyone who would pick up this book would be blown away by it but without certain peruisites it could be a book to throw across the room out of bewilderment It can be tough It can be verbose But it is undoubtably one of the best books I’ve read this yearDuring her time as a writer Woolf was uite invested in the scientific theories of her day There are apparently a lot of her own personal writing that spoke highly of her research into the area and all of the scientific advances being made at the turn of the century a time heralded by the legendary Charles Darwin Woolf’s focus wasn’t necessarily on natural selection—although its influence is present—but on the theories and writings surrounding thermodynamics Although I’m woefully unualified to talk about the finer points of thermodynamics what’s important for reading Woolf is the idea of the conservation of energy over the fact that matter is never lost It is continually recycled and that all of our world is a constant fluctuation of heat and matter moving in and out of different systems—including that oh so special system called human beings Although ostensibly our experience of the world tells us that we are one solidified unit of matter always held together in the perfected feeling of selfness and oneness that is our day to day life the truth couldn’t be any further from that Woolf seemed particularly haunted by the idea that what seemed to be a solidified conscious experience was actually a continual fluctuation of matter on a physical level and the conseuential thoughts worries and sensual bombardment on the experiential level These new ideas destabilized previous notions about our awareness of the world as the absolute avenue to truth and the reality of this world Thus it is in this tension that the characters of To the Lighthouse find themselves in They are obsessed with creating still images out of the cacophony of a thermodynamic universe trying to cling to old notions of a person still being that solidified center of the world A character will revel in the beauty and wonderment of a single moment only to have it slip away from them and be washed away in the tumultuous seas of conscious experience Although our minds create perfected still images out of the constant transformation of matter around these still images skip away into the past before they can be fully grasped fully made whole “With her foot on the threshold she waited a moment longer in a scene which was vanishing even as she looked and then as she moved and took Minta’s arm and left the room it changed shaped itself differently; it had become she knew giving one last look at it over her shoulder already the past”But than any lofty philosophical or scientific conceits this book is achingly beautiful Never for a moment does the specifics of the scientific theory engulf the work Instead it remains above the surface leaving its impact upon you emotionally The book is wrought with beautiful feeling and what could possibly make this better than the work of Joyce for example is that it never leaves one with a cold intellectual shoulder or the folded arm distance of an extravagant feat of technical writing skill Woolf goes for the gutAnd even if you are completed uninterested in the finer points of Woolf’s overall conceit you can still appreciate the beauty of the titular image—the lighthouse I was particularly moved by all of Woolf’s images of water as a stand in for conscious experience in all its tumultuous churning; and the fact that a lighthouse is the tall solidified object which brings ships lost at sea back to solid ground; and the fact that this lighthouse is what the characters hang all their hopes and desires upon; and the fact that we the reader must sail through all that thick prose to get to the promised reward at the endThe lighthouse for there it was