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ENGLISH 2K06 Study Guide - Final Guide: To The Lighthouse, David Catcheside

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Juliette Merritt
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To The Lighthouse Guide
Tuesday November 4, 201
Excerpt from Chapter XIX (121)
He wondered if she understood what she was reading. Probably not, he thought. She was astonishingly
beautiful. Her beauty seemed to him, if that were possible, to increase.
Yet seem'd it winter still, and, you away,
As with your shadow I with these did play,
she finished.
"Well?" she said, echoing his smile dreamily, looking up from her book.
'As with your shadow I with these did play,'
Shadows and consciousness.
Symbolic of what you see in others vs. what they see in you. Discusses what you
are aware of and what you're not aware of within yourself or others (I would add:
in this text).
Woolf is very particular about what she wants to reveal to the reader and what
her characters are made aware of.
o For example, in the passage [Mrs. Ramsay] becomes aware that her
husband is watching her, but she may not be aware of what he is actually
o Compare to page 113, when Woolf describes the light of the stars trying to
flash through the leaves of the trees. This is symbolic of how Woolf is
choosing what she wants to reveal to the reader and what the characters
decide to reveal to one another. There are flashes of light in which the
reader sees the character's true thoughts, but it is surrounded by darkness
and shadows that hide certain aspects of the characters' consciousness.
Excerpt from Chapter XIII
"And suddenly the meaning which, for no reason at all, as perhaps they are stepping out of the
tube or ringing a doorbell, descends on people, making them symbolical, making them representative,
came upon them, and made them in the dusk standing, looking, the symbols of marriage, husband and
wife. Then, after an instant, the symbolical outline, which transcended the real figures sank down again,
and they became, as they met them, Mr. and Mrs. Ramsay watching the children throw catches."
The narrator is like a lighthouse, illuminating what in its beam and shrouding
everything outside of it in darkness.
In this passage, the narrator illuminates the two characters as symbols of
marriage. They are two-dimensional figures, representing nothing but the
symbols of marriage.
As you get closer to Mr. & Mrs. Ramsay you see their characters develop into
three-dimensional figures. This also happens throughout the book with many
other characters.
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