Study Guide

To the Lighthouse Part 1, Chapter 5

By Virginia Woolf

Part 1, Chapter 5

  • Mrs. Ramsay takes her stocking and measures it up against James’s leg as she, in a flash of inspiration, decides that William and Lily should marry.
  • James fidgets deliberately, jealous that the stocking is for the Lighthouse boy.
  • Mrs. Ramsay looks up, confused, and reflects on the room they are in, and then the whole house. It’s getting shabbier and shabbier every summer, she concludes.
  • She speaks sharply to her boy and he straightens up. The stocking is too short.
  • We get a couple of paragraphs about Mrs. Ramsay’s beauty – how she’s not aware of it, and how she has a certain personality that is inseparable from her beauty.
  • Mrs. Ramsay continues knitting the stocking, kisses her little boy, and suggests that they go cut out some pictures.