Mrs. Ramsay In Virginia Woolf's To The Lighthouse

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The characters is very much interested in reason, as we can see since the beginning of the novel, in which he tells his son that they will not be able to go to the Lighthouse the following day because of the bad weather. Thus, we discover Mr Ramsay is not interested at all in James´s feelings, an attitude that is condemned by his wife, who loathes him because she believes him to have destroyed her son´s feelings, a destruction she believes will last till the end of their child´s life.
Mr Ramsay´s superiority lays on his belief that he is intellectually superior than his wife and as such, he necessarily needs to be always right, he needs “to pursue truth with such astonishing lack of consideration for other people’s feelings” and that is, for
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There is much more lying behind the social mask in which she is hidden. It is true that on the one hand she responds to the stereotypical representation of the Victorian woman (mother and wife of her children as it has been aforementioned) but privately “she is drawn toward women and women-identified values” (Donna Lynn, ESTÁ EN MODERN FICTION...45 PERO NO HAY PAGINA). Mrs Ramsay likes the kind of liberty men have, and because Lily is the only woman who has some kind of independency, she likes her for it “With her little Chinese eyes and her puckered-up face, she would never marry; one could not take her painting very seriously; she was an independent little creature, and Mrs. Ramsay liked her for it" (Woolf, 29). But the way in which Mrs Ramsay likes Lily has been seen by some critics as something more than just the kind of affection that usually exists between friends. Some scholars, such as Lynn argue that the character of Mrs Ramsay is based on the writer´s mother, Julia Stephen, a “docile and self-abnegating housewife” (Donna Lynn…), but who was suspected by the writer to be living a double life, an affair with another…show more content…
She does not only paint the picture that the reader gets of the Ramsay family but she reflects this image in the physical painting as well. The artist is somehow painting them both in reality as well as in her mind. Thus, every time she refers to her composition we must assume that she is talking about the Ramsay family in an indirect manner. Besides, although the reader is never able to get a complete image of what Lily is painting, we are given some clues that help us to look at it in relation to the family. For instance, at the beginning of the novel we find that the painter is portraying Mrs Ramsay and her son James, but towards the end we discover that this image has faded away and the only image we can form in our minds about the picture is as something abstract, something not defined anymore. Therefore, the picture undergoes a kind of development which reflects the process through which Lily is trying to understand how the Ramsay family really is. Hence, what we see in the artist´s painting at the beginning is the “conventionally ordered Victorian society” (Seshagiri, 76), but then it develops into something abstract and less mimetic. At the end of the novel we are witnesses of a picture that is composed by “pieces of formalist art whose self-referentiality protects the female artist from patriarchy's demands” (Seshagiri, 76). Thus, we see that Lily´s picture undergoes a change of pictorial techniques
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