To the Lighthouse : quotations

Shape Shape

To the Lighthouse is a notable literary work by Virginia Woolf. A complete discussion of this literary work is given, which will help you enhance your literary skills and prepare for the exam. Read the main text, key info, Summary, Themes, Characters, Literary Devices, Quotations, Notes, to various questions of To the Lighthouse.


It is a thousand pities never to say what one feels.

(Narrator, The Window, Chapter 9)

Explanation: The quotes discuss the dynamics and relationships among the characters, mainly Mr. Ramsay, Lily Briscoe, and William Bankes. Mr Ramsay’s mood swings and tyrannical nature significantly impact those around him. William Bankes is secretly in love with Mrs Ramsay. He feels pity for Lily. Mr Ramsay’s behavior affects his wife and his children. It also suggests that William Bankes may view himself as a potential alternative partner for Mrs. Ramsay. The quotes highlight the complex interpersonal relationships and emotions examined in the novel.


The sky stuck to them; the birds sang through them.

(Narrator, The Window, Chapter 9)

Explanation:  Through this quote, Lily Briscoe observes the deep love between Mr. and Mrs. Ramsay. Their emotions affect everything around them, even nature. The sky and the singing bird symbolically signify that the world is so influenced by their passion and connection that it seems as if the elements of nature are responding to their love.


Everything seemed possible. Everything seemed right.

(Narrator, The Window, Chapter 17)

Explanation: In this quote from Virginia Woolf’s “To the Lighthouse,” Mrs. Ramsay tries to matchmake between William Bankes and Lily Briscoe during dinner. She plans a walk or picnic for them but misjudges their characters. Lily is independent and uninterested in marriage, while William loves Mrs. Ramsay. It reflects Mrs. Ramsay’s tendency to misunderstand and influence others’ romantic desires. It refers to the recurring theme in the novel, the complexity of human relationships.


Life stand still here.

(Mrs. Ramsay, The Lighthouse, Chapter 3)

Explanation: The quote “Life stand still here” is Mrs. Ramsay in Virginia Woolf’s “To the Lighthouse”. It reflects her desire to freeze moments of happiness, like the one between Charles Tansley and Lily Briscoe. It represents the tension between the longing for permanence and the reality of life’s impermanence.


Everything seemed possible. Everything seemed right.

(Narrator, The Window, Chapter 17)

Explanation: Through the above quote, Mrs Ramsay tries to set up William Bankes and Lily Briscoe, but She makes mistakes in understanding their feelings. Lily isn’t interested in marriage, and Bankes loves Mrs. Ramsay. It reflects her tendency to misread people’s desires. It resembles her role in Paul Rayley and Minta Doyle’s engagement. It highlights the theme of misperception in the novel.


Love had a thousand shapes.

(Narrator, The Lighthouse, Chapter 11)
Explanation: The quote emphasizes that love can take many forms and expressions. In general, It is Just as emotions can be complex and multifaceted. Love isn’t limited to a single way of feeling or understanding; it may be displayed in various ways, from passion to tenderness.


They’re happy like that; I’m happy like this. Life has changed completely

(Narrator, The Lighthouse, Chapter 5)

Explanation: In this quote, Lily Briscoe reflects on the changes in her life and the differences between her and her friend, Mrs. Ramsay. She accepts the distance between their beliefs. She finds happiness in her situation. It’s a matter of self-acceptance.


He went to the heart of things.

 (Narrator, The Window, Chapter 17)

Explanation: In this excerpt, the narrator describes an incident during dinner where Mrs. Ramsay expects her husband, Mr. Ramsay, to share his political insights with the guests. But, he remained silent. He seems displeased that Augustus Carmichael asked for more soup. This moment describes the tension and disconnect between Mr. Ramsey’s intellectual pursuits and interpersonal interactions.