She’s the second most important most important writer after James Joyce: her book “To The Lighthouse” can be considered another masterpiece, we can understand and appreciate modern novel with this novel. She’s another examples of unlucky, sad, depressed writer. Her life was not so easy for 2 reasons:
The sudden death of her mother affected her life a lot, she was never able to overcome her suffering. It made her frustrated. Her mother was the most important person in Virginia’s life.
The nervous breakdown she suffered from for many years of her life. She was very similar to Eliot.
In 1927 she published “To The Lighthouse” (“gita al faro”) the most important novel she wrote.The only book she decides to try new techniques, not only epiphanies, stream of consciousness, interior monologue. She experienced a new modern technique: “MOMENT OF BEING” it will be important to understand the characters of the novel
It is composed of 3 parts:
“Time Passes” the second section of the book
It is all one story, divided into three chapters, unconventional, essential and difficult plot. Because all the book which covers a period of 12/13 years of story, is based only on one event: a trip to the lighthouse.Everything is entered to this trip.
Mr and Mrs Ramsay are the protagonist of the novel, but in particular Mrs Ramsay. They have got some children and when the book starts the children are very young. The book starts with an idea ,with a proposal of going to the lighthouse as a day trip. The children are very happy about this idea, it is something their mother promised; but the weather is not fine and Mrs Ramsay said “No, we won’t go today, we will go when the weather is better”. Mr and Mrs Ramsay have a house at the sea, where they spend the summer holiday every year; that’s why the lighthouse is one of the most favourite destination, because it is the only destination. This house, there are also other guests: a female painter called Lily Briscoe (!!!!); a scientist but Lily is the one that plays another important role. One day she decides to make a portati of Mrs Ramsay. But, she will find ti very difficult, very hard because she’s not able to find inspiration. It will be pospone till the day she found the inspiration
Chapter 2, time passes and Mrs Ramsay dies. It will be shocking to the family; only Mr Ramsay will raise their children, the First World war breaks out, but the family keep staying together, they will never give up.
Final chapter, when many years have passed, the children one day will propose their father the trip to the lighthouse, they will remember the day when they had to go there but they couldn't. The father will accept. That day, Lily Briscoe will finally find the inspiration to finish the portrait. Mrs Ramsay will be able to give unit to the family, even when she’s not there, the only point of reference to the people.
Mrs Ramsay: the protagonist of the book because she’s always present, event after her death. She’s considered a modern woman, but she’s the first representation of the modern mother. She promised to their children. She said “we will go there, not today”. She has an optimistic vision of life, she’s also very generous and truly loves her children. Mrs Ramsay can be considered as symbol of unit in the story, but on particular in her family; after her death her family kept being together, she was the only responsible of her family union, because of her love.
Comparison between Evelyn and Ramsay
Lily Briscoe: a female painter. She might be an alter ego of Woolf, but for what concerns the art.Women couldn’t work in the art field. At the beginning she’s not able to finish the portrait, bacasse she found it difficult. But at the end, she succeeds finished. Women had difficulties to work as artist, as Woolf found it hard to publish novels. Woolf wants to send a message: “ Women, wake up! There is a chance even for you, never give up and keep fighting” The role of women in art,
The lighthouse: hope; the lighthouse will always be there. A solution can always be found. However is a symbol of a difficult place to reach. The symbol of difficulties in life.
The painting: which is finally completed. It can be seen as a way to represent the optimism in women’s artistic abilities (even women can make it, and the painting is the result)
Another modern technique: “Moment of being”
important events and unimportant events. She starts distinguishing two types of events in human lives.
Important: they can’t be forgotten. They are unforgettable. There is a specific feeling and a specific conscious makes the event unforgettable, even if the action lasts for a few seconds. A moment that I really live and feel. You are there, living the moment.
Unimportant: events easily forgotten, but whats makes an event unforgettable? Mechanic action.
Moment of being in the story: the painting of Lily Briscoe, the inspiration itself and the consequences of the success.
Even she’s not alive, she will be able to make Lily finish her painting, she gives the strength to go on and for instance go to the lighthouse.