Topic : To the Lighthouse

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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.

main text

To the Lighthouse Virginia Woolf (1882-1941)   THE WINDOW 1 "Yes, of course, if it's fine tomorrow," said Mrs. Ramsay. "But you'll have to be up with the lark," she added. To her son these words conveyed an extraordinary joy, as if it were settled, the expedition were bound to take place, and the wonder to which he had looked forward, for years and years it seemed, was, after a night's darkness and a day's sail, within touch. Since he belonged, even at the age of six, to that great clan which cannot keep this feeling separate from that, but [...]

key facts

key Facts

Title: To the Lighthouse

Author: Virginia Woolf

Written Date: 1927

Published Date: May 1927

Genre: Modernist fiction


"To The Lighthouse" is a novel written by British author Virginia Woolf. It was published in 1927. The novel tells the story of the Ramsay family's visit to the Isle of Skye between 1910 and 1920. The entire novel is divided into three sections: The Window, Time Passes, and The Lighthouse.

"The Window" section begins just before the First World War. Mr. and Mrs. Ramsay take their eight children to their summer house for a summer vacation.


Mrs. Ramsay: Mrs. Ramsay is the central character in "To the Lighthouse". She is a lovely, intelligent, careful wife and mother. She always tries to keep the family bond maintained. She is well-mannered with guests at the Ramsay family's summer home on the Isle of Skye.

Mr. Ramsay: Mr. Ramsay is the intellectual and philosophical head of the Ramsay family. He is a professor and often lost in his thoughts. He seeks philosophical truths and desires admiration for his intellectual pursuits. He is more distant and reserved compared to his wife, Mrs. Ramsay.

literary devices

Figures of Speech and Literary Devices into the Lighthouse

Stream of Consciousness: Virginia Woolf is well known for her narrative style, the stream-of-consciousness. It refers to interior monologue. It is used to describe the inner thoughts and feelings of the characters to understand real situations.

Imagery: The novel is replete with vivid imagery. Pictures of the characters, The sky, and the sea are examples of imagery in the novel.

Symbolism: Various objects in the novel, such as the lighthouses, symbolize impossible goals and the passage of time. It represents the characters' desires and aspirations throughout the novel. Besides the sea, Ramsay's summer house is another symbol that bears deeper meanings in the novel.


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.