Woolf's Argumentative Essay

3776 Words 16 Pages
She states, “Often when I have been writing one of my so called novels I have been baffled by this same problem; that is, how to describe what I call in my private shorthand—‘non-being’” (Woolf, “To The Lighthouse”; Autobiographical writings, 1939(page 70)).
These moments of non-being, according to examples offered by Woolf herself, seem to refer to the events that occur but are not readily recalled. Woolf describes moments of being by explaining a day when she vividly remembered certain details about her walk along a river and enjoyed books by Chaucer and Madame de la Fayette (Woolf, “To the Lighthouse”; Autobiographical writings, 1939(page 70)). On the other hand, Woolf refers to moments of non-being using her example of lunch with her husband,
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Ramsay’s world view may not be quite as cautious as we, readers, may initially think. In fact, her world view is a little unclear. For example, in chapter eleven of The Window, the narrator tells readers that as Mrs. Ramsay sits down to her work, she is reflecting on the thoughts sitting in her mind. The phrase that she seems to dwell most on is “We are in the hands of the Lord,” (To the Lighthouse page 66) which leaves her feeling annoyed. Her consciousness suggests that it was not herself saying this phrase, which makes her wonder who it might have been that said it. So, at the beginning of the novel, we might assume that such a phrase would be in line with Mrs. Ramsay’s character. After all, she occasionally refers to the guest, Charles Tansley, as the atheist in what could be considered a condemning …show more content…
Ramsay, becomes a completely different person as she knits after the children have all gone to bed. Her transformation from the outwardly caring mother, concerned with the household running smoothly , changes into an inwardly philosophical person contemplating life and truth. We learn that Lily is a woman with a strong distaste for marriage, preferring to pursue her work as an artist rather than follow the conventions of her time. This is all conveyed and interpreted through the narrator, who then puts the thoughts into a narrative form, portraying it as an inner dialogue. It should therefore be assumed that the narrator’s function and the blending of dialogue and stream of consciousness all play significant roles in defining To the Lighthouse as a work of post-impressionism. These three aspects of novelistic speech are connected in complex and fascinating ways. Without the narrative voice, the stream of consciousness does not take on its creative way of understanding each of Woolf’s characters in her novel. The stream of consciousness incorporates some dialogue between characters, but it becomes clear to the readers of the novel that the most important information is given through the inner processes of each character. In many ways, we learn most about Woolf’s characters through the consciousnesses of other characters. For example, James’s opinion of his father, leads us in understanding Mr. Ramsay’s personality. However, I also learned about the characters through

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