We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
To the Lighthouse

To the Lighthouse


by Virginia Woolf

Analysis: Setting

Where It All Goes Down

A summer house at the Isle of Skye in the Hebrides, 1920s

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 particular enclosure around the Ramsay family and their assorted friends and colleagues, allowing Woolf to run in and out of their minds at will and create a true sense of background for each of them, as well as a sense of unity during the dinner party scene.

Most of the novel’s action – let’s make that "action" – takes place before and after World War I, which places the characters in a pretty specific time frame, the main repercussion being that gender is a big deal. Unmarried woman who likes to paint? Dime a dozen these days, but not so much back then.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...