Criticism of Novel-To the lighthouse by Virginia Woolf Essay

February 24, 2021 by Essay Writer

Updated: Mar 29th, 2019

The story written by Woolf is fascinating since it depicts the highest level of professionalism in the modernism era. Nonetheless, some of its features ranging from writing style to the portrayal of some characters are astonishing when subjected to criticism. The book has several characters incorporating Mr. Ramsay, his family, visitors, and other characters that the author uses to exude her themes (Woolf 69).

Woolf employed extremities to depict how women languished in inferiority and ignorance to the point that they could hardly comprehend some terms used during conversation.

This is evident during the dinner party at Mr. Ramsay’s summer home when male visitors were eagerly talking and using various terms like square roots, cubes, and squares while Mrs. Ramsay could hardly understand. Concurrently, her sons like James (younger than her) could understand these terms perfectly.

It is agreeable that women had no chance for education before the modernism era: nevertheless, the author uses extreme descriptions to exhibit the situation.

Additionally, the author’s depiction of Mr. Ramsay’s behavior as a male character in the story might exhibit unfairness to male genders. Ramsay’s cancellation of the lighthouse’s trip appears insensitive to the entire family. However, his argument in the scenario is logical. The horrific weather predicted could hardly favor their voyage.

The writing style and abrupt change of events emerging throughout the story pose concerns. The use of internal monologue to convey some thematic messages and reveal the personality of some characters is evident in the entire narration. Critically, the author extremely employs it to the extent that it loses meaning and significance.

Mrs. Ramsay, James, and Lily Briscoe among other characters have frequently used monologues to depict their discontentment with Mr. Ramsay’s actions. The abrupt death of Mrs Ramsay and her elimination from the story’s continuity creates suspense within the story since she was one of the main characters (Woolf 155). Additionally, if the author intended to use her as the true pioneer of modernism, she could have lived to witness the radical changes in the history and the ultimate materialization of the lighthouse’s trip.

Although events in the story have a purpose, some undertakings in the story have no remarkable use. Critically, the use of numerous characters to depict one substantial theme is of no purpose. In some occasions, Woolf uses several imaginative concepts to help in building her themes. However, imaginations might dispute the story if they appear unrealistic.

Another censurable moment is the confrontation amid Mr. Ramsay and his guest Mr. Carmichael over additional soup at the party. If Ramsay prepared a party for fifteen guests in his house, in Hebrides, it was inappropriate for him to deny one of the very guests to make additional requests (Wolf 67).

Evidently, the author used this moment to depict the selfishness of Mr. Ramsay; however, it is a false portrayal of men and this might indicate how the author intended to disfigure the male characters. Finally, on encountering the title of the story, one might expect a narration full of episodes concerning a sea voyage towards the lighthouse.

However, it is disappointing to notice that the real journey to the lighthouse comes last when at least three members of Ramsey’s family have died, the portrait started by Lily was still undone, and several incidences have unfolded. This trend might be a massive disillusionment to a reader who only expected to read the exact voyage.

Works Cited

Woolf, Virginia. To the Lighthouse. London, LDN: Collector’s Library, 2004. Print.

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