Study Guide

To the Lighthouse Part 3, Chapter 3

By Virginia Woolf

Part 3, Chapter 3

  • Lily adjusts all of her painting things, and then contemplates where to start.
  • Lily paints.
  • As she paints, Lily tries to figure out the point of all this effort. She knows the painting will probably wind up under some servant’s bed, but the words "women can’t write, women can’t paint," ring in her ears and urge her on (remember, that’s what Tansley said).
  • Lily thinks about the meaning of life, and about, essentially, halting life. Freezing it. Mrs. Ramsay was able to do it well, and when she remembers this, Lily thinks that she owes everything to Mrs. Ramsay.
  • Lily walks to where she can see the sea. She sees a little boat, and imagines Mr. Ramsay, Cam, and James sailing in it.