To the Lighthouse
by Virginia Woolf
To the Lighthouse Theme of Identity
Mrs. Ramsay, in particular, is very conscious of her identity, constantly interrogating herself and her character. She adopts a very subordinate position when in her interactions with other people, which means that her own true self is frequently stifled. But – good news – when there are no people around to pander to, her own private self has room to explore. Lily also contemplates her identity often.
Questions About Identity
- What the deal with the "wedge-shaped core of darkness?" (1.11.1)
- Check out the "glove’s twisted finger" passage (1.9.8 – 1.9.9). What conclusions did Lily come to? What are the bases for those conclusions?
- Is Mrs. Ramsay’s drive and desire to continually lavish attention on others merely a mechanism to downplay herself?
Chew on This
Mrs. Ramsay is exceedingly self-aware.