Study Guide

To the Lighthouse Part 3, Chapter 8

By Virginia Woolf

Part 3, Chapter 8

  • The world stands still for Cam as they wait for a breeze to fill their sail. They are miles from shore and miles from the Lighthouse.
  • Mr. Ramsay is reading like he wants sympathy. This irritates James. He wants to take a knife and plunge it into his father’s heart. Still James the Ruthless.
  • Since he’s grown older, James has realized that it’s not his father that he wants to kill, but essentially the tyrannical, nasty moods that descend upon his father.
  • James is often beginning to feel, however, that only he and his father understand one other.
  • James absorbs himself in memories.
  • He thinks of his mother, and how she alone spoke the truth, and to her alone could he speak the truth.
  • James feels powerless and miserable, but at that moment the sail fills with wind and the boat moves on.
  • Mr. Ramsay barely moves.