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To the Lighthouse

To the Lighthouse

by Virginia Woolf

To the Lighthouse Analysis

Literary Devices in To the Lighthouse

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

Remember? In their youth, Mr. Bankes and Mr. Ramsay are walking down the road when a hen comes flying up to protect her chicks, and Mr. Ramsay goes, "Pretty pretty." According to Mr. Bankes, that&#...

Setting

Well, there are brief jaunts elsewhere: walks to town, walks around the lawn, and the all-important lighthouse journey, but the house is where it’s at. Such a specific locale creates a partic...

Narrator Point of View

There are brief forays into third person narrative, most notably during Part Two, but for the most part Woolf runs in and out of everyone’s brains at will. Her narrative style is intensely fr...

Genre

When you’re reading a novel and every so often you sit up and go, "whaaaaaat?" it probably fits into the genre of modernism. Modernist literature likes to break from established structures (l...

Tone

Every single moment in To the Lighthouse is milked for all its worth. Let’s take a look at the passage, which occurs as Mr. Bankes admires a view of sandhills: "He was anxious for the sake of...

Writing Style

To the Lighthouse is a Modernist novel, which means (among other things) that it's All. About. Style. In fact, many argue that the actual story of the novel itself takes get put on the backburner i...

What’s Up with the Title?

Well, obviously, the first and third sections of To the Lighthouse are literally about going to a lighthouse. Are the Ramsays going to visit it? How resentful will James Ramsay be if they can’...

What's Up with the Ending?

To the Lighthouse ends with Lily Briscoe having a revelation about her own work. She has seen from a distance that Mr. Ramsay has arrived at the Lighthouse, his children James and Cam in tow (for m...

Plot Analysis

Admittedly, it's kind of tough to talk about To the Lighthouse in terms of plot trajectory because, while time does certainly move in the novel, "plot" would seem to suggest that there's some sort...

Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis

The set-up for the quest is that life has become "oppressive and intolerable," and the hero "can only rectify matters by making a long, difficult journey." So Christopher Booker tells us. And frank...

Three Act Plot Analysis

Act I ends when the protagonist(s) have reached a point of no return, which we feel comes when Mrs. Ramsay passes away in Part Two. Until then, all of the struggles of the novel (between Charles Ta...

Trivia

To the Lighthouse was Virginia Woolf’s most commercially successful novel. From sales of the book, she and her husband were able to buy a car.To the Lighthouse is considered Woolf’s mos...

Steaminess Rating

The Ramsays are obviously having it (seriously, eight kids?), but we regret to inform you that throughout the course of the book no one has sex. They’re all too concerned with bigger things,...

Allusions

Alfred, Lord Tennyson: "The Charge of the Light Brigade" (1.3.8, 1.4.1 and onwards)The Brothers Grimm: "The Fisherman and his Wife" (throughout chapters 7 to 10 of Part One)Shakespeare (Throughout...
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