To the Lighthouse
Central symbol the lighthouse. How does the lighthouse aid in constructing the central tensions and development of the plot? How does the lighthouse aid in understanding the role and dilemma of Mrs. Ramsey?
Many ideas as to what this structure may symbolize have entered my mind, and I would like to ask anyone who would like to respond to clarify if my thoughts are true to the novel or merely construed fluff. The lighthouse may be a symbol for Mrs. Ramsay herself as its beam is always at the home on the island. Its light penetrates the windows long after Mrs. Ramsay's death and the family's flight from their former home. Also, in everyone's memory, the lighthouse is a place of beauty, yet upon returning many years later they find a forbidding place and begin questioning why the trip was made in the first place. Could the lighthouse symbolize the burden left on James and Mr. Ramsay after her death? While she was still with them, a journey to the lighthouse seemed something to be looked forward to, but after her death the trip merely seemed to derive from Mr. Ramsay's sense of duty to his late wife. Could the lighthouse symbolize life itself? Could it symbolize the two realms of consciousness constant in all the characters? One being the illusion of what life is as seen only in the mind and built up by imagination, and the other being the reality of life which can be found only when gazing more closely at what is real. I know this message was long, and I'm sorry if I have wasted anyone's time, but if you have any insights on this subject please respond!
The lighthouse's beam of revolving light as an image to Mrs. Ramsey's character as she revolves around each character and watches over everyone like the light of a lighthouse does.
I read elsewhere that a lighthouse is not usually a destination in itself, but traditionally illuminates the way toward one's destination - provides a safe path. Is Mrs. Ramsey...