Virginia Woolf's To The Lighthouse Analysis

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Virginia Woolf’s renowned novel, To The Lighthouse, is one which critics find challenging to interpret fully, due to Woolf’s idiosyncratic nature which permeates the text. Taking the first section of the text, “The Window”, and focusing on Mr. and Mrs. Ramsay as focal points, the nature of the subconscious and psychoanalysis are intriguing areas to delve into. Few critics have been successful in exploring these aspects of the text; yet, Martha C. Nussbaum’s in-depth analysis of the novel through these aspects is thoroughly compelling, although a suggestion for modification will also be made. Highlighting the importance of exploring the inner-consciousness, Nussbaum refreshes our minds and provides us with a deeper meaning of the text, despite…show more content…
The Ramsays’ utter dissimilarities contribute to the ability to interpret Woolf’s novel by means of psychoanalysis, as demonstrated by Nussbaum. Additionally, she touches on Sigmund Freud, and his influence on the writing of Woolf, as Freud believed that when behaviour or conscious mental activity is explained to others, we rarely give a true account of our motivation, and this is the issue that Nussbaum deliberates throughout. Indeed, this is predominantly the motivation behind Woolf’s work, the ‘stream of consciousness’, which is evident as almost all of the events take place in the characters’ minds. In the words of Nussbaum herself, “emotions don 't stand still to be inspected like so many stones or bricks. The act of bringing them to consciousness frequently changes them; the act of expressing them to another almost always does so”. Taken from her article, this quote summarises the overall argument which will be discussed, and reveals the answer to the underlying problems in the novel, with regards to the nature of the…show more content…
"Divine Politics: Virginia Woolf 's Journey toward Eleusis in To the Lighthouse." boundary 2 20.1 (1993): 125-145. Nussbaum, Martha Craven. "The window: knowledge of other minds in Virginia Woolf 's To the Lighthouse." New Literary History 26.4 (1995): 731-753. Rubenstein, Roberta. "" I meant nothing by The Lighthouse": Virginia Woolf 's Poetics of Negation." Journal of Modern Literature 31.4 (2008): 36-53. Woolf, Virginia. The Letters of Virginia Woolf: 1932-1935. Vol. 5. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. (1975) Woolf, Virginia. “To The Lighthouse.” Oxford World’s Classics
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