Study Guide

To the Lighthouse Part 2, Chapter 8

By Virginia Woolf

Part 2, Chapter 8

  • Mrs. McNab doesn’t expect any of the family to come to the house ever again, so she swipes some flowers from the yard.
  • She thinks about how dirty the house is, and how impossible it is for her to clean it properly. She’s old.
  • Apparently the Ramsays have been sending Mrs. McNab regular money for the upkeep of the house, although they never visit.
  • The house was never really vacated. There’s a brush and comb, for instance, set on the dressing table as if Mrs. Ramsay were expected to come back tomorrow.
  • We take a trip down Mrs. McNab’s memory lane as she thinks about Mrs. Ramsay.
  • Now the house is gross and moldy. Mrs. McNab goes into the nursery. The skull is still there, but it’s gone moldy. And there are apparently rats in the attic.
  • Mrs. McNab figures she’s too old for all this.
  • She locks up and leaves.