The Power of Manipulation
In Virginia Woolf’s, To the Lighthouse, there a many constructional themes at work; through a constructional lens I will be looking at the theme of manipulation. Manipulation plays a big role in To the Lighthouse. Not only is manipulation a big part of Mrs. Ramsey’s character but Virginia Woolf manipulates time throughout the novel. “Naturally, one had asked her to lunch, tea, dinner, finally to stay with them up at Finlay, which had resulted in some friction with the Owl, her mother, and more calling, and more conversation, and more sand, and really at the end of it, she had told enough lies about parrots to last her a lifetime (so she had said to her husband that night, coming back from the party). However, Minta came...Yes, she came, Mrs. Ramsay thought, suspecting some thorn in the tangle of this thought; and disengaging it found it to be this: a woman had once accused her of "robbing her of her daughter’s affections"; something Mrs. Doyle had said made her remember that charge again. Wishing to dominate, wishing to interfere, making people do what she wished—that was the charge against her, and she thought it most unjust. How could she help being "like that" to look at? No one could accuse her of taking pains to impress. She was often ashamed of her own shabbiness. Nor was she domineering, nor was she tyrannical.” (67) This quote shows Mrs. Ramsey’s manipulation and the way people see her. While some people love Mrs. Ramsey because they cannot see through her manipulation, there are the others that see the manipulation and hate her for it. They see her as someone that interferes and dominates the situation. Mrs. Ramsey also knows that she manipulates people and doesn’t know if she uses it for good or evil. She asks herself if she pushed too hard for Minta to make up her mind on the marriage. “Was she wrong in this, she asked herself, reviewing her conduct for the past week or two, and wondering if she had indeed put any pressure...
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