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.