Virgina Wolf was born in 1882 and her father was an important Victorian man of letters so she grew in an intellectual atmosphere. she spent her Summer in Conwall and sea remain central to her art and this symbol represent on one hand harmony an femininity on the other the possibility of resolution of intolerable conflicts in death. After her mother death she began in revolt against her tyrannical father and only after her father death in 1904, she her own life and literary career.
The Bloomsbury Group
In this period she became a member of Bloomsbury Group that was composed by the avant garde artists, writer and thinkers of 20th century in London. These artists despised (disprezzavano) traditional morality, convention and bourgeois sexual code. This group of artists were famous for a revolutionary stream of consciousness developed by Virginia Woolf . Bloomsbury members , against the conformism of Victorian age, was caracterized by unconventional sexual practices, anti war sentiments and socialist.
Bloomsbury rimase un gruppo molto esclusivo e con stretti legami interni, simile all'indole dei suoi esponenti. I membri erano fortemente critici verso i periodi Vittoriano ed Edoardiano nelle loro costrizioni religiose, artistiche, sociali e sessuali, Un altro tratto caratteristico di Bloomsbury era (naturalmente non così fuori dal comune nell'Inghilterra di quei giorni) l'amore per l'Europa meridionale, soprattutto concentrato su Italia e Francia, ma anche Grecia. Il gruppo appariva certamente come un luogo tranquillo e ospitale per molti dei suoi membri omosessuali e/o bisessuali: quasi come regola, gli aderenti a Bloomsbury avevano relazioni con più di un partner, per lo più di entrambi i sessi. Sembra che almeno qualche flirt con uno o più degli altri membri diversi dal partner regolare fosse addirittura obbligatorio.
Gita al faro
This work does not have a traditional plot but consist of a series of experience, memories , emotion and feelings that are held together by symbols. The story develops a period of three years and the novel is divided into three sections:
the Window /Timepasses / the lighthouse
Part I: The Window
The novel starts just before World War I and it is set in the Ramsays' summer home by the sea . The section begins with Mrs Ramsay assuring her son James that they should be able to visit the lighthouse on the next day. This prediction is denied by Mr Ramsay, who voices his certainty that the weather will not be clear, an opinion that forces a certain tension between Mr and Mrs Ramsay, and also between Mr Ramsay and James. This particular incident is referred to on various occasions throughout the chapter, especially in the context of Mr and Mrs Ramsay's relationship.
The Ramsays have been joined at the house by a number of friends and colleagues, one of them being Lily Briscoe, who begins the novel as a young, uncertain painter attempting a portrait of Mrs. Ramsay and James. Briscoe finds herself plagued by doubts throughout the novel, doubts largely fed by the claims (alimentato dalle rivendicazioni ) of Charles Tansley, another guest, who asserts that women can neither paint nor write. Tansley himself is an admirer of Mr Ramsay and his philosophical treatises.
The section closes with a large dinner party.
Part II: Time Passes
The second section gives a sense of time passing, absence, and death. Ten years pass, during which the four-year First World War begins and ends. Mrs Ramsay dies suddenly, her daughter Prue dies from complications of childbirth, and Andrew( a son) is killed in the war. The summerhouse falls into a state of decay.
Part III: The Lighthouse
In the final section, “The Lighthouse,” some of the remaining Ramsays and other guests return to their summer home ten years after the events of Part I. Mr Ramsay finally plans on taking the long-delayed trip to the lighthouse with his son James and daughter Cam(illa). The trip almost does not happen, as the children are not ready, but they eventually set off. As they travel, the children are silent in protest at their father for forcing them to come along. However, James keeps the sailing boat steady and rather than receiving the harsh words (rimproveri) he has come to expect from his father, he hears praise (viene lodato) , providing a rare moment of empathy between father and son; Cam's attitude towards her father changes also, from resentment to eventual admiration.
While they set sail for the lighthouse, Lily attempts to finally complete the painting she has held in her mind since the start of the novel. She reconsiders her memory of Mrs and Mr Ramsay, balancing the multitude of impressions from ten years ago in an effort to reach towards an objective truth about Mrs Ramsay and life itself. Upon finishing the painting (just as the sailing party reaches the lighthouse) and seeing that it satisfies her, she realizes that the execution of her vision is more important to her than the idea of leaving some sort of legacy in her work.
She is a beautiful woman and loving wife who always give support to the other characters in the novel.
She try to give his son James and his husband a sense of protection because she realized that beauty and pleasure are ephemeral and should be protected. She is very kind (gentile ) also with their guests even if they don’t appreciated her politeness (educazione). In particular Mrs Ramsay protects men because she considers that they must be constantly reassured . Men carry economy and country and need the support of women. In the last scene of The Window Mrs Ramsay show her husband she loves him without word, only with acts. This means that it’s very import the sense of family and of unity in a world marked by chaos, decay and war.
She is painter and she is the character who rapresents Virginia. She doesn’t like the conventional immage of Mrs Ramsay and has difficulties to end her portrait. There is a sort of evolution during the novel. Lily , at the first time , cannot make sense to shapes and colours (non riesce a dare senso alle forme e ai colori), at the end she paints something beautiful and lasting (duraturo) from the ephemeral things surrounding her as the changing light and the view of the bay. in this way she reach a large sense of unity with Mrs Ramsay
TRANSIENCE, LOSS AND ART
The theme of loss runs along all the novel. Virginia Woolf describes various moment in which decay and death are protagonis . Lily try to give order to her emotions and ideas and Mrs ramsay beleves that love can create durable memories making moments permanent.
Gander issues (questioni di genere maschile e femminile)
To the Lighthouse is an autobiographical work and the Ramsey represent her parents. She show the difference between male e female , husband and wife, man and woman. Virginia Woolf attribute the image of light and fertility to Ms Ramsay and the sterility and division to Ms Ramsay. Sea represente the fluidity of woman, the lighthouse the rigidity of man.
The sound of the sea is constantly present a represent uncertainty in contrast with the idea of stability represented by land.
Window represents the connection and division between the self and society : for Lily is the frame (cornice) for her portrait , for Mrs Ramsay the frame of lighthouse.
Lighthouse represents a different thing for each character. On one hand it is light and comfort , hope and enthusiasm, on the other hand it is a inaccessible destination as it’s for James. Only at the end of novel James realized the Lighthouse has two different and opposite meaning: it has a different significance moment to moment. Lily desire to put in her portrait the essence of a Mrs Ramsay as wife and mother and it represents the belief in feminine artistic vision , Lily success in represents things together in harmony.
The use of Colour
Every colour has a different significance:
White stands for definite meaning of science and abstract thought
Red and brown stands for the indivuality and egotism
Blue and green stands for impersonality
Yellow is simply yellow,it is positive