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To the Lighthouse

To the Lighthouse

by Virginia Woolf

To the Lighthouse Part 3, Chapter 11 Summary

  • Lily ruminates that a lot depends on distance; her feelings for Mr. Ramsay change the further away he is.
  • She looks at her painting in shock. She has not been able to achieve balance between two opposing forces.
  • Something is evading Lily whenever she thinks of Mrs. Ramsay or her picture.
  • Lily thinks about Mr. Carmichael and how he has changed. The two of them don’t know each other very well, but Lily argues in her mind that she knows Mr. Carmichael. She can imagine the shape of his poetry.
  • Lily thinks about Mr. Carmichael’s interactions with Mrs. Ramsay, how Mrs. Ramsay, sensing that Mr. Carmichael didn’t like her, would always try to be helpful towards him.
  • A hinge squeaks.
  • Lily thinks about Mrs. Ramsay’s character.
  • Then Lily thinks about Charles Tansley, and how he got married, had a little girl, and denounced the war in favor of brotherly love.
  • Lily reflects that 50 eyes are necessary to see people clearly.
  • Lily imagines the life that Mr. and Mrs. Ramsay had together.
  • She turns her attention back to her painting, then walks again to the edge of the lawn. She wants Mr. Ramsay. Don’t get so excited, not in that way.

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