Enacting of modern themes and literary devices in To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf.

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Enacting of modern themes and literary devices in

To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf

Prof. Ştefania Mihalache                                       Cătinean Ligia Dănuţa

An III Filologie I D



To the Lighthouse 

by Virginia Woolf

In two of her essays Modern Fiction and Mr. Bennett and Mrs. Brown she said that the novels are a protest to traditional novel which really too much on the exterior reality on the surface. Virginia Woolf found necessary to create new methods and techniques, to invent a new form of novel, capable of expressing her own vision of life. She is interested in finding what is beyond things, in finding the essential truth of life.

Her novels attempt both to “dissipate” character and to reintegrate human experience within an aesthetic shape or form. She seeks to represent the nature of transient sensation, or of conscious and unconscious mental activity, and then to relate it outwards to more universal awareness of pattern and rhythm. The momentary reaction, the impermanent emotions, the ephemeral stimulus, the random suggestion, and the dissociated thought are effectively ‘bent’ into a stylistic relationship to something coherent and structured.

The characters may often seem to be dissolved into little more than ciphers, what they come to signify is part of complex iconographic discourse. In the instances of  “To The Lighthouse” the glancing insights into the identities of characters are complemented by larger symbols (a flickering lighthouse) which is allowed to be both temporary and permanent, both real and resonant, both constant and fluctuating.  

 The fictional whole thus becomes a normative expression of certain Modernist themes and modes. She founds new methods to say what she has to say.

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Virginia Woolf is moving from one consciousness to another, from one group to another, exploring the significance of their reactions. The dinner-party given by Mrs. Ramsay for their guests is an opportunity for the novelist to use this shifting point of view. She passes from one mind to another, for the characters continue their isolated existence, thought they are together. They only become temporarily united owing to Mrs. Ramsey’s powerful influence and the harmony thus achieved in her own triumph.

Handling of time means that a presentation of certain moment in somebody’s life, a moment that reveals what the character ...

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