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To The Lighthouse--symbols & parallel

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Introduction

Symbols and Parallels "To the lighthouse" is a highly symbolic book with different symbols and parallels. Symbols refer to objects, characters, setting and plot that we can add meaning to them to show the themes and focus of the book. Parallels showed repeating development of objects, characters, setting, plot and symbols that has a purpose to show certain meanings. The symbols and parallels will be discussed in this essay together with their significance to the themes and meaning of the book. To start with, the title "To the lighthouse" is a symbol itself. Lighthouse refers to the vision and purpose of life of one self. "To the lighthouse" is a physical journey to the lighthouse of the Ramsay's family. But its symbolic meaning is the spiritual awakening of characters in the book in search of their meaning and purpose in life. For example, the Ramsay's family did go to the lighthouse at the end of the book. But what is more is their spiritual journey that reached reconciliation of the parent-child conflict. Cam and James disliked Mr Ramsay in part I that James imagined to kill his father with an axe handy. They are being inspired by the death of three Ramsay members during the war that changes their attitude towards life. Mr Ramsay was able to acknowledge his own self as a man who had reached Q and father in the family. ...read more.

Middle

The symbols in the setting are exemplary to echo the theme, which is to seek direction in the midst of chaos in life. For example, the profusion of darkness in Time Passes represents the destructive forces in nature. Nothing seems to remain due to the passage of time. Yet, though human efforts and establishments are vulnerable to these mystery, uncertainties and fluidity in life, people are inspired by the brutal nature. Nothingness can imply both the destroying power of nature and a blank new mind ready to be inspired. In The Lighthouse, Lily feels curiously divided at the sight of the same Ramsay house ten years ago but with no Mrs. Ramsay inside. Yet, only due to this extraordinary blankness in mind can she be able to be inspired to seek her own artistic vision. On the other hand, the use of symbols in the plot facilitates the connection with readers on an emotional ground. Thought-provoking, it may only be their starting point of inspiration. The journey to the lighthouse, for instance, refers to both the spiritual awakening of Lily and reconciliation between Mr. Ramsay and his children. To the Ramsay family, the sailing from the shore to the island is like parting from the past to the present reality. They revisit their past, accept it and let it go so that they can focus more on the present moment. ...read more.

Conclusion

It is like a miracle to have such dramatic changes and it also shows that things happen for a reason and a purpose. The main thing is whether the involved people can get something out of it. Also, with Virginia Woolf's writing technique of stream of consciousness, readers can know about the thoughts going through the characters' mind and see their psychological growth. For the symbols, there is also a parallel in the book. The Lighthouse is a symbol but it has different meanings for different characters. For Mrs. Ramsay, the lighthouse is the vision and the purpose in life, guiding people to find meanings out of all the chaos in the world. But for James, he is inspired by the lighthouse that truth can be different in different perspectives, when the observer has growth or change in his mind and looking at it in a new angle. Although the perception changes, the truth itself will not. This creates beauty in a thing, which can mean differently for different people, causing diversity in the picture of life. Symbols and Parallels have significant roles in "To the lighthouse" to show the complexity of life, the purpose of life, the search of vision and connection with readers as a thought-provoking book. To see the meaning behind the symbols and parallels, there are the meaning of life in the chaos, growth of characters after the encounter of destruction in life and the different perspective of different characters. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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