A lighthouse is a structure that warns and navigates ships at night as they near land, creating specific signals for guidance. In Virginia Woolf’s To The Lighthouse, the Lighthouse stands a monument to motivation for completion of long-term goals. Every character’s goals guides him or her through life, and the way that each person sees the world depends on goals they make. Some characters’ goals relate directly to the Lighthouse, others indirectly. Some goals abstractly relate to the Lighthouse. The omnipresent structure pours its guiding light over every character and every action.
The spouses Ramsey have Shiva and Parvati-like roles in life, and their goals correspond to these roles. Mr. Ramsey differs in that he separates unconscious
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Ramsey always attempts to make connections between people, and to bring together parts into a whole. She is at the metaphorical Lighthouse, in terms of accomplishing her goals. She radiates inspiration and joy to those who notice her. “For him to gaze as Lily saw him gazing at Mrs. Ramsey was a rapture (47).” In the book, Mrs. Ramsey refers only to the journey to the Lighthouse in terms of helping those who are at its helm, bringing them and their family knitted socks and food and other things to show that she cares.
James, as a young child, at the beginning of the book, does not understand his father’s role, and thus cannot understand how his father loves. The Lighthouse also perplexes young James. “The Lighthouse was then a silvery, misty-looking tower with a yellow eye, that opened suddenly, and softly in the evening. (Woolf 186).” James harbors feelings of hatred for his father even when James and his sister, Cam, sailed out to the Lighthouse with him.
James looked at the Lighthouse. He could see the white-washed rocks; the tower, stark and straight; he could see that it was barred with black and white; he could see the windows in it; he could even see washing spread on the rocks to dry. So that was the Lighthouse, was it? (186)
As James sails closer to the Lighthouse, the Lighthouse becomes more and more clearly detailed, and as they land, Mr. Ramsey’s love