Friday, 23 December 2016


Major Themes in "Arms and the Man"

1. Ignorance vs. Knowledge
     The play is mainly concerned with the clash between knowledge and ignorance, or, otherwise stated, between realism and romanticism. Raina and her fiance Sergius are steeped in the romanticism of operettas and paperback novels. Bluntschli uses his superior knowledge to disabuse Raina of her military delusions, while the experience of war itself strips Sergius of the grand ideals he held. The couple's idealized vision of warfare deflates in the face of additional information. In the realm of love, the couple's pretensions are defeated by the thoroughgoing pragmatism of their respective new matches: Bluntschli and Louka. Both the Swiss Captain and Bulgarian man confront their lovers about the gap between their words and their true selves. When faced with reality, both Raina and Sergius are able to abandon their romantic delusions and embrace their honest desires.
2. The Realities of War
     When Catherine and Raina imagine war they picture brave and dashing officers fighting honorable battles. The reality of war falls far from this romanticized vision. In the play's opening scene Bulgarian soldiers hunt and kill fleeing Serbians. Once Captain Bluntschli appears, he becomes an eloquent messenger for the horrors of war. He describes conditions of starvation and exhaustion at the front lines. What first appears to be most glorious moment in the war, Sergius' cavalry charge, is revealed to be an absurd case of dumb luck. Later in the play Captain Bluntschli helps Major Petkoff and Sergius coordinate the return routes of surviving troops so as to prevent starvation. Since the play begins in the aftermath of the Serbo-Bulgarian War, the reader does not experience any titillating battles, only a grinding post-war reality where hunger and death loom in the background.
3. The Realities of Love
     Raina and Sergius are as delusional about love as they are about war, seeming to have derived their understanding of romance primarily from Byronic poetry. They celebrate each other with formal and pretentious declarations of "higher love", yet clearly feel uncomfortable in one another's presence. The couple, with their good looks, noble blood and idealist outlook, seem to be a perfect match, but in Shaw's world love does not function as it does in fairy tales. Instead Raina falls for the practical and competent Swiss mercenary that crawls through her bedroom window and Sergius for the pragmatic and clever household maid. Love does not adhere to conventions. Moreover, love is not some abstract expression of poetic purity. Love in the play is ultimately directed at those who understand the characters best and who ground them in reality.
4. Jingoism and National Pride
     Every war is initiated either in the name of nationalism or to manifest one's creed and its superiority. Bernard Shaw focuses on the notion that none focuses the superiority of humanity and the values associated with it. Catherine wants her daughter to be worthy of her fiance because he is a war hero: "Oh, if you have a drop of Bulgarian blood in your veins, you will worship him when he comes back." Catherine does not like the treaty of peace because the Serves ought to be taught that the Bulgarians are mighty. 
5. Feminine Sentimentalism
     Sentimentality of the fair sex has always been subject to criticism and fun for the writers since ages. Women are considered soft at heart and weak in the mind. They are easy to move and influence. Our dear Raina and her mother prove to be of this category; however, Louka, a rough and tough maid, proves to be of another kind. The way the daughter and mother help escape the fugitive soldier is really amazing and unbelievable. 
6. Incompetent Authority
     Throughout the play competence and power do not align with established authority. Louka repeatedly flouts social rules. By violating traditional ideas of authority and power, she is able to win marriage to a handsome and wealthy war hero. Her manipulation of Sergius demonstrates that control does not necessarily derive from social authority. Likewise, Catherine manipulates her husband Major Petkoff, withholding information and shepherding him about. Major Petkoff, as the oldest wealthy male, should be the most powerful character according to contemporary social hierarchy. Yet Petkoff proves to be a buffoon; he is, in fact, the character least able to control outcomes, as he rarely understands what is unfolding before him.
7. Class
     Class has a large and continuous presence in the play. The Petkoff's upper-class pretensions are portrayed as ridiculous and consistently played for laughs. The family's pride in their so-called library becomes a running joke throughout the play. Shaw praises the family's more local and humble roots: admiring the oriental decorations in Raina's bedroom and describing Catherine earthy local beauty. Raina's outdated Viennese fashions and Catherine's tea gowns are treated as ridiculous. Louka's struggle demonstrates many of the effects of class in Bulgarian society. She feels restricted by her station, which condemns her to a life where reading books is considered presumptuous. Using her wit, Louka manages to escape these boundaries, achieving equality with the wealthy Sergius.
8. Hypocrisy
     Hypocrisy has been the age old problem with mankind. Humans claim one thing while believe in another. Similarly, the soldiers fighting in the name of national pride and bravery are cowards. The aristocrats have hypocrites and they present themselves for what they are really not. They show off a humane and gentle appearance but inside of them they are cheaters and losers. Sergius flirts with Louka while Raina has romantic imagination about the Swiss despite both Raina and Sergius are engaged with each other. Ironically, both vow of great and pure love which is "higher love" for Sergius and "worthy" love for Raina. Catherine would not shout for the servant because it is considered indecent. 
9. Bravery
     In the beginning Sergius, like Catherine and Raina, imagines bravery as the will to undertake glorious and theatrical actions. This belief leads him to lead a regiment of cavalry against a line of machine guns. Despite his dumb luck, the action identifies him as an incompetent figure. When he returns at the end of the war, Louka challenges his romantic notions of bravery. Sergius admits that "carnage is cheap": anyone can have the will to inflict violence. Louka submits that the subtle bravery required to live outside social rules and constrains is more worthy to praise. At the play's end Sergius demonstrates this kind of bravery when he embraces Louka in front of the others and agrees to marry her. Like Sergius, Captain Bluntschli also undermines traditional understanding of bravery.
10. Personal Honesty
     It is through personal honesty that all the play's major conflicts are resolved. Raina abandons her indignant posturing and admits that Sergius exasperates her, allowing her to pair up with Bluntschi. Likewise, Sergius overcomes his overly romantic understanding of the meaning of love and bravery, opening himself to an engagement with Louka. It is only when the couple confronts and accepts their true desires and feelings that they find happiness with their ideal partners. Pretending to share noble love makes both Raina and Sergius miserable. In the end, even Bluntschli embraces his inner romantic self, asking for the hand of the girl he is smitten with. Each characters gives in to his honest desires and is rewarded with an optimal outcome.

Thursday, 22 December 2016



     Romantic poetry is the poetry of the Romantic era; an artistic, literary, musical and intellectual movement that originated in Europe toward the end of the 18th century. It involved a reaction against prevailing Enlightenment ideas of the 18th century, and lasted from 1800 to 1850, approximately. Romantic poetry contrasts with neoclassical poetry, which is poetry of intellect and reason, while romantic poetry is the product of emotions, sentiments and the heart. The best known romantic poets are William Blake, William Wordsworth, Lord Byron, John Keats, S.T Coleridge, Mathew Arnold and Percy Bysshe Shelley. The major romantic elements found in the poetry of  Shelley are; love of nature, imagination, melancholy, supernaturalism, Hellenism, beauty, idealism and subjectivity. 
1. Love of Nature
     Like the other Romantic poets, Shelley too was an ardent lover of Nature. Like Wordsworth, Shelley conceives of Nature as one spirit, the Supreme Power, working through all things. He celebrates Nature in most of his poems as his main theme such as The Cloud, To a Skylark, To the Moon, Ode to the West Wind, A Dream of the Unknown. In his treatment of Nature, he describes the things in Nature as they are, and never gives them colours. He gives them human life through his personifications, but he does it unintentionally for he felt they are living beings capable of doing the work of human beings. His mythopoeic power has made him the best romanticist of his age. He also believes in the healing aspect of Nature and this is revealed in his "Euganean Hills" in which he is healed and soothed by the natural scene around him and also the imaginary land. 
2. Imagination
     Belief in the importance of imagination is a distinctive feature of romantic poets. 'Facts' said Shelley, 'are not what we want to know in poetry, in history, in the lives of individual, in satire or panegyric. They are the many diversions, the arbitrary points on which we hang and to which we refer those delicate and evanescent hues of mind, which language delights and instructs us in precise proportion as it expresses.' Shelley calls poetry "the expression of imagination", because in it diverse things are brought together in harmony instead of being separated through analysis. Shelley made a bold expedition into the unknown and he felt reasons should be related to the imagination. His expedition was successful when he made the people understand that the task of imagination is to create shapes by which reality can be revealed to the world.
3. Melancholy
     Melancholy occupies a prominent place in romantic poetry, because it is a major source of inspiration for the Romantic poets. Though Shelley was a man of hope and expectation and spiritualistic about the future of mankind, yet he represents himself in his poems as a man of ill luck, subject to evil and suffering. He expresses this in his "Ode to the West Wind":
Oh, lift me as a wave, a leaf, a cloud.
I fall upon the thorns of life, I bleed!
A heavy weight of hours has chained and bound
One to like thee. 
4. Supernaturalism
     Most of the Romantic poets used supernatural elements in their poetry. Shelley's interest in the supernatural repeatedly appears in his work. The ghosts and spirits in his poems suggest the possibility of glimpsing a world beyond the one in which we live. In "Hymn to Intellectual Beauty", the speaker searches for ghosts and explains that ghosts are one of the ways men have tried to interpret the world beyond. The speaker of "Mont Blanc" encounters ghosts and shadows of real natural objects in the cave of "Poesy". Ghosts are inadequate in both poems: the speaker finds no ghosts in "Hymn to Intellectual Beauty", and the ghosts of Poesy in "Mont Blanc" are not real thing, a discovery that emphasizes the elusiveness and mystery of supernatural forces.
5. Hellenism
     The world of classical Greece was important to the Romantics. Shelley wrote "Hellas" which is the ancient name of Greece. "Ozymandias" is an ancient Greek name for Ramses II of Egypt. Shelley was mainly influenced by Platonism. Plato thought that the supreme power in the universe was the spirit of beauty. Shelley borrowed this conception from Plato and developed it in his metaphysical poem "Hymn to Intellectual Beauty". Intellectual Beauty is omni-potent and man must worship it. The last stanza of "The Cloud" is Shelley's Platonic symbol of human life. In fact, Shelley frequently turned to Greece as a model of ideal beauty, transcendent philosophy, democratic politics, and homosociality or homosexuality.
6. Beauty
     Beauty is an other element of Romanticism in Shelley's poetry. Beauty, to Shelley, is an ideal in itself and a microcosm of the beauty of Nature and he calls it "Intellectual Beauty". He celebrates Beauty as a mysterious power. In the de arts, to intellectual Beauty, he says that when Intellectual Beauty departs this world becomes a "dim vast vale of tears, vacant and desolate" and if human heart is its temple, then man would become immortal and omnipotent:
Man were immortal and omnipotent
Did'st thou, unknown and awful as thou art, 
Keep with thy glorious train firm state
Within his heart. 
7. Idealism
     Idealism is the very much common characteristic especially in second generation Romantic poets. Shelley's idealism falls under three subheadings. Revolutionary, Religious and Erotic.
(i) Revolutionary Idealism: His revolutionary idealism is mainly due to French Revolution. Through his Queen ManThe Revolt of Islam, and Prometheus Unbound, he inspired people to revolt against by scorning at the tyranny of state, church and society and hoping for a golden age.
(ii) Religious Idealism: Though Shelley was a rebel, he was not an atheist. He believed in the super power of God, and he imagined God as supreme 'Thought' and 'Infinite Love'.
(iii) Erotic Idealism: Shelley believed in the abstract quality of love and beauty -- love as infinite and beauty as intellectual. He celebrates love as a creator and preserver in his "Symposium"; and beauty as Supreme Spirit in "Hymn to Intellectual Beauty".
8. Poetic Style
     Shelley's poetic style is also romantic. To some extent, it is an imitation of William Wordsworth's style. He uses a lot of powerful symbolism and imagery, especially visual. The series of gorgeous similes in "The Skylark" show the romantic exuberance of Shelley. His diction is lush and tactile. But he never uses any ornamental word and every word fits in its place and carries its own weight. They express the diverse feelings of the poet with the notes of music which appeal to every human beings's ears. He uses terza rima in his "Ode to the West Wind" which is one of the finest uses of terza rima in an English-language poem.
     In brief we can say that every bit of Shelley's poetry is romantic. Shelley's joy, his magnanimity, his faith in humanity, and his optimism are unique among the Romantics; his expression of these feelings makes him one of the early nineteenth century's most significant writers in English. Of all the Romantics; Shelley is the one who most obviously possessed the quality of genius-quickness, grasp of intellect, the capacity of learning languages rapidly, ability to assimilate and place scientific principles and discoveries. Due to his premature death, he attained the iconic status as the representative tragic Romantic artist like Byron and Keats. No wonder Shelley is heralded as the best Romantic poet of his age. 

Tuesday, 13 December 2016



21.  Answer the following questions. 
(i) Who was Cleanth Brooks?
(ii) What are the major works of Cleanth Brooks?
(iii) What is the significance of the title "The Well Wrought Urn"?
(iv) What is the subject matter of "The Well Wrought Urn" by Brooks?
(v) Why has Brooks chosen poetry as his subject in "The Well Wrought Urn"?
(vi) Write the table of contents of "The Well Wrought Urn" by Brooks.
(vii) What has been discussed in Brooks' essay "The Language of Paradox"?
(viii) "The language of poetry is the language of paradox". Says Brooks.
(ix) Why has Brooks chosen Wordsworth in "The Language of Paradox"?
(x) What is R.S. Crane's objection against Brooks' centrality of paradox?
(xi) How does Brooks define irony, especially poetic irony?
(xii) Is satire different from irony?
(xiii) What is an ode according to Brooks?
(xiv) Brooks notes that Keats, contrary to his dictum, closes his "Ode on a Grecian Urn" with a meaningful statement. What is this sententious statement?
(xv) What is "Sylvan historian' according to Brooks?
22. Answer the following questions. 
(i) Which comment of T.S. Eliot does Brooks quote about "Beauty is truth"?
(ii) What becomes of the poem, according to Brooks, unless we assert "the primacy of the pattern"?
(iii) Write three analogies does Brooks offer for "the essential structure of a poem".
(iv) What does Brooks state about "organic context"?
(v) What is the difference between the "terms of science" and the "terms of a poem"?
(vi) What is a "well made poem" according to Brooks?
(vii) What is the role of a word and logic withing a poem?
(viii) What does poetry communicate according to Brooks?
(ix) What does Brooks say in his essay "The Heresy of Paraphrase"?
(x) What are some of the consequences of allowing ourselves to be misled by "the heresy of paraphrase"?
(xi) According to Brooks, what do good works of literature have in common?
(xii) What should be the qualities of a critic according to Brooks?
(xiii) What is the true function of literary criticism according to Brooks?
(xiv) What are the strong points of Brooks' criticism?
(xv) Which features of Brooks' views have been criticized by later reader, and on what grounds?
23. Cleanth Brooks As a Critic
24. Cleanth Brooks' Method for the Analysis of Poetry
25. Brooks' Views on 'What Does Poetry Communicate?'
26. Brooks' Views on Keats' Urn



27.  Answer the following questions. 
(i) Who was Catherine Belsey?
(ii) What subject does Belsey deal in Critical Practice?
(iii) What is Belsey's view about Classical Realism?
(iv) What does Belsey mean by Expressive Realism?
(v) How much the common sense view of literature is justified? Discuss with reference to Belsey's arguments.
(v) What relationship does Belsey establish between criticism and common sense?
(vi) What, according to Belsey, is the difference between common sense and literary theory?
(vii) How does Belsey discuss the authority of common sense with respect to Saussure's view of linguistic theory?
(viii) What is Belsly's opinion about Saussure's theory?
(ix) Explain the Post-Saussurean notion that the transparency of language is an illusion.
(x) What is post-structuralism?
(xi) What are the three kinds of the texts mention by Belsey?
(xii) What do you understand by Dialectical Text?
(xiii) Differentiate between Dialectical and the Rhetorical Text.
(xiv) Critical Practice is produced with a bias in favour of the Interrogative Text. Do you agree?
(xv) Discuss the concept of split and unfixed subject with reference to the Interrogative Text.  
28. Answer the following questions. 
(i) What, according to Lacan, are the three stages of child development?
(ii) In what ways did New Critics change the approach of criticism towards a literary text?
(iii) How can meaning be constructed by reproducing what is familiar?
(iv) Discuss Belsey's arguments in the favour of structural criticism.
(v) What are the three features that describe a Classic Realist text?
(vi) Define the terms ideology and discourse and explain their relationship to each other.
(vii) How does ideology shape the subject? Can the subject find its way out of ideology?
(viii) "There is no criticism without ideology". How does Belsey argue this thesis?
(ix) What is the influence of Marx and Althusser on literary criticism?
(x) What id Deconstruction method? How has it changed the concept of modern criticism?
(xi) Explain the deconstruction of the text with reference to Barthes and Macherey.
(xii) Where does the meaning lie: in the text, the reader, the writer, or the structure?
(xiii) Discuss the methods of extracting meanings out of a creative text as described by Belsey.
(xiv) What are the problems involved in the production of text?
(xv) What are the major drawbacks preventing the attainment of a new and productive critical practice? 
29. Belsey's Views on 'New Criticism'
30. Relationship Between Criticism and Commonsense
31. Difference Between the Dialectical and the Rhetorical Text
32. There is no Criticism Without Ideology

Sunday, 11 December 2016



9.  Answer the following questions. 
(i) Who was Philip Sidney?
(ii) What was the purpose of writing "An Apology for Poetry"?
(iii) Define the term Renaissance.
(iv) What two ideas does "An Apology for Poetry" deal with?
(v) What is the origin and meaning of the word "poet"?
(vi) What is the nature and function of poetry according to Sidney?
(vii) How is poetry superior to philosophy and history?
(viii) How has Sidney established that poetry is antique and universal in nature?
(ix) What, according to Sidney, is the relationship between pleasure and learning?
(x) How does the poet's art differ from that of the astronomer, geometrician, moral philosopher, rhetorician, and others?
(xi) What, according to Sidney, did Greeks mean by the philosophical term architectonike?
(xii) Is Sidney's idea of mimesis Platonic or Aristotelian?
(xiii) What are the three kinds of poetry according to Sidney?
(xiv) What is Elegy?
(xv) What is the essence of Sidney's defense against poetry? 
10. Answer the following questions. 
(i) What is Sidney's opinion about the heroic or Epic poetry?
(ii) Sidney says, "Comedy is not merely to provide according to Aristotle".
(iii) What are the main objections brought against poetry by its enemies?
(iv) To what extent, ultimately, does Sidney agree with Horace about the aim or "end" of poetry?
(v) Does "rhyming and versing" make a poet, according to Sidney?
(vi) How does Sidney refute the allegation against poetry that it is bound up with "rhyming and versing"?
(vii) How does Sidney refute the allegation against poetry being the waste of time?
(viii) How does Sidney refute the allegation against poetry being the mother of lies?
(ix) How does Sidney refute the allegation against poetry being the nurse of abuse?
(x) What was Sidney's approach on Plato's banishment of poets from his ideal republic?
(xi) Why has England grown so hard a step-mother to poets? Asks Sidney.
(xii) What should be the qualities of a tragedy according to Sidney?
(xiii) What should be the qualities of a comedy according to Sidney?
(xiv) What argument does Sidney make concerning the unity of place? Does his comment seem fitting? Why or why not?
(xv) What is the value of Sidney's criticism?
11. The Puritan Attack on Poetry
12. Sydney's Defense of Poetry
13. Sydney's Theory of Poetry
14. Sydney As a Critic

Tuesday, 15 November 2016



(i) Write the names of four major plays of Edward Bond.
Ans. Edward Bond is the author of some fifty plays. His major plays include; Early Morning, Lear, The Sea, Bingo, Saved, Narrow Road to the Deep North.
(ii) When did Edward Bond win the Obie award?
Ans. In 1976, Edward Bond's play "Bingo" won the Obie award as Best Off-Broadway play at Yale Repertory Theatre.
(iii) What is Bond's attitude towards religion?
Ans. "Edward Bond is an atheist and a humanist", says Tony Coult. Bond believes in mutual respect of religion. In one of his letters, Bond says, "Art can of course be captured by religion and corrupted by ideology".
(iv) What are the major themes of 'The Sea'?
Ans. Man's ability to survive the worst, man's desire for change, relationship between individual and society, mutual respect of religion and self appear are the major themes of "The Sea".
(v) Define symbolism.
Ans. Symbolism is the use of words, places, characters, or objects that mean something beyond what they are on a literal level. For example, Blake's tiger symbolizes creative energy, Shelley's wind symbolizes inspiration, Ted Hughes's Hawk symbolizes terrible destructiveness at the heart of nature.
(vi) What does the character of Willy symbolize?
Ans. Willy is not native of the town. He is a symbol of change in this pessimistic and lunatic town. He is also symbolic of the truth which is doubted by most. He stands as a voice for the oppressed ones while the society is unable to listen. He is the voice of positive change. He appears as a linking force between the oppressed and the oppressor.
(vii) How is "The Sea" a poetic tragedy?
Ans. "The Sea", set in the rural background of North Cost of England, was intended as a satirical comedy by the author but deep tragic elements overshadow the comic aspects of the play. So it is labelled as a poetic tragedy.
(viii) Describe surrealism in 'The Sea'.
Ans. Surrealism in literature is an artistic attempt to bridge together reality and the imagination. Edward Bond is a surrealist. In "The Sea" Bond surrealistically shows the ability of human beings to survive the worst, to retain their optimism, and not to be brought down by the lunacy and injustice of the world they live in.
(ix) What is the setting of the play 'The Sea'?
Ans. "The Sea" is a comedy by Edward Bond set in a small seaside village in rural East Anglia in 1907 in the Edwardian period.
(x) What is the significance of the title 'The Sea'?
Ans. Bond's earliest projected titles for "The Sea" were "Was Anything Done?" and "Two Storms". The Sea is a symbol of power, strength, life, mystery, hope and truth. The tightly knit society of a small town on the East Coast of England is a battleground just like the Sea over which the victims of an oppressive and morally impoverished culture wander in made distraction.
(xi) What is the main target of satire in 'The Sea'?
Ans. English form of repression -- the operations and influence of a rigid class structure, which is carefully worked into the whole fabric of the play, is the main target of satire in "The Sea".
(xii) Why does Bond encourage the audience to 'change the world'?
Ans. It is a world ludicrously bent on self-destruction. Bond encourages the audience to "change the world", for betterment must be desired. He believes in social change with the will of individuals. With this aim of change, the playwright directs his satire on the rigid, aggressive and repressive class structure of English society.
(xiii) Sea is the domain of life. How?
Ans. This line is from Edward Bond's play "The Sea". Domain is an area of territory owed or controlled by a particular ruler or government. There are three domains of life; earth, air and sea. Sea is the domain of life for fishes, plants and other marine organisms. Sea is also a metaphor of life.
(xiv) 'People are judged by what they have on their hands. They are important'. What does it mean?
Ans. These words are spoken by Mrs. Rafi in Scene II of the play "The Sea" by Edward Bond. She is in Hatch's shop and orders Hatch to show her the gloves available with him. She tries several gloves and finally likes "style" of a pair. Gloves are very important for her because she thinks that one uses one's hand to point, emphasize, gesture, and be judged.
(xv) 'It's a bad world. You have to be a bit mad to understand it'. What does it mean? 
Ans. This line is from Scene III of the play "The Sea" by Edward Bond. It means that this world is very dangerous, convoluted and cruel. Our common senses cannot understand the mysteries of this world. So we have to be insane, irrational and senseless to avoid its understanding.

Sunday, 13 November 2016



(i) Write the names of four novels of Virginia Woolf.
Ans. The major novels of Virginia Woolf are; The Voyage Out, Night and Day, Jacob's Room, Mrs. Dalloway, To the Lighthouse, Orlando, The Waves, The Years, Between the Acts.
(ii) What is the function of the 'to' in the title? Why isn't the title just 'The Lighthouse'?
Ans. "The Lighthouse" in this novel is a symbol of things that are desired, longed for, and unknown. The "to" in the title suggests that it is a journey to the Lighthouse. The characters in the novel seem to be like lost little ships, which all seem guidance, and struggle to find their way in life.
(iii) In how many sections 'To the Lighthouse' has been divided? Also write the names of the sections.
Ans. "To the Lighthouse" has been divided into three sections, each of which has been given a title: The Window, Time Passes and The Lighthouse.
(iv) What is the importance of brackets in 'To the Lighthouse'?
Ans. Brackets is an effective plot device to fast-forward time and to age the surviving characters. The sentences in Brackets in "To the Lighthouse" convey personal information about the characters, recount the deaths of Prue and Andrew Ramsay, indicate violence and potential survival, and act as bookends about Mr. Carmichael.
(v) What is stream-of-consciousness?
Ans. Stream of consciousness is a narrative mode or device that seeks "to depict the multitudinous thoughts and feelings which pass through the mind. Another term for it is "interior monologue". The term was coined by William James in 1890 and in 1918 May Sinclair first applied this term in a literary context, when discussing Dorothy Richardson's novels.
(vi) What does the lighthouse symbolize in 'To the Lighthouse'?
Ans. The lighthouse symbolizes human desire, a force that pulsates over the indifferent sea of the natural world and guides people's passage across it. Yet even as the lighthouse stands constant night and day, season after season, it remains curiously unattainable.
(vii) How is 'To the Lighthouse' a study of human relationships?
Ans. "To the Lighthouse" reveals a close study of the ways and means by which satisfactory and congenial human relationship might be established. Almost throughout the novel, we find the movements of characters towards one another from the state of isolation in which each character is trapped by his own sense of inadequacy or his private worries. Mrs. Ramsay plays a very significant part to establish communication between people.
(viii) What is the relationship between the Lighthouse and the novel's narrator?
Ans. Just as Lighthouse guides ships during turbulent times, narrator guides readers (with indirect interior monologue, parenthesis, and stream of consciousness). Narrator is very much present -- and the autobiographical element does not allow author to fully disappear from the novel.
(ix) What is the effect of the passage of time in 'To the Lighthouse'?
Ans. Time is not experienced conventionally in "To the Lighthouse". Instead, time is anchored in certain select moments, which completely distorts it from the way a clock experiences time. Time is measured as it is experienced by certain people, which infuses select moments with incredible importance and duration. Time is both elongated and compressed to show the destructiveness of time.
(x) What are some of the main symbols in 'To the Lighthouse'?
Ans. The Lighthouse, Lily's Painting, The Ramsays' Summer House, The Sea, The Land, The Boar's Skull, The Fruit Basket, and The Hen in Mr. Banker's Memory are the main symbols in "To the Lighthouse".
(xi) What are the major conflicts in 'To the Lighthouse'?
Ans. (i) James wants to go to the Lighthouse but his father says that the weather won't be good enough to go.
(ii) Lily wants to paint but Charles tells her that women can't write or paint.
(iii) The common conflict that each of the characters faces is to bring meaning and order to the chaos of life.
(xii) How does Virginia Woolf depict marriage in 'To the Lighthouse'?
Ans. Marriage in Woolf's text is anti-climactic, filled with the day-today duties of paying bills, attending to company and raising children. Marriage acts as a unifying thread throughout novel, connecting incongruous moments with structural unity and clarity. The relationship between Mr. and Mrs. Ramsay, shows the distinctness of character within each counterpart as they are unified to become a third entity -- the married couple.
(xiii) What is the significance of water in 'To the Lighthouse'?
Ans. Water has a great role throughout the novel, in particular as the characters spend a great deal of time looking at the sea that separates the Ramsay's summer home from the Lighthouse. The symbolism of water is complex. It seems to represent both permanence and ephemerality. It also represents a destructive and erosive force.
(xiv) What is the place of objectivity and omniscience in 'To the Lighthouse'?
Ans. The repression of subjectivity and use of omniscience in "To the Lighthouse" enhance the consciousness effect. Woolf discards both the first person and the third person narration in her novel because she finds the method of narration known as multiple inner points of view as the best means to project her theme in the novel.
(xv) Would you consider the ending of 'To the Lighthouse' a happy ending? 
Ans. "To the Lighthouse" ends with Lily Briscoe having a revelation about her own work. She has seen from a distance that Mr. Ramsay has arrived at the Lighthouse, his children, James and Cam in tow. This sump up happily not only the achievement of Lily's artistic project, but also of the project of "To the Lighthouse" as a whole.