Essay about Fleeting Connections in Virginia Woolf's To the Lighthouse

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Fleeting Connections in Virginia Woolf's To the Lighthouse

In Virginia Woolf's To the Lighthouse, Mrs. Ramsay plays the role of a beautiful, dutiful wife and mother. She also is a peacekeeper, who struggles to find unity, even in situations where it seems that none can be found. Through Mrs. Ramsay's attempts to unify conditions, many characters experience an extreme sense of connection with her. Often, like Mrs. Ramsay's successful unifications, these connections are but fleeting ones, lasting only momentarily. Nevertheless, they do exist and are a reoccurring event throughout the course of the novel.

'That's my mother, thought Prue. Yes; Minta should look at her; Paul Rayley should look at her. That is the thing itself,
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In this short passage, Prue is absolutely taken in and mesmerized by her mother's beauty and aura. There is no question that in this moment she feels a very strong connection to Mrs. Ramsay. Prue states that she feels "as if there were only one person in the world; her mother." This connection is also emphasized by Prue's feeling that it is "an extraordinary stroke of fortune" to have Mrs. Ramsay for a mother. She feels as though the two are truly unified.

Prue's sense of connection to her mother in this passage is a very intense one. The language she uses is very passionate, which reveals that although this bond between mother and daughter is a short-lived one, it is experienced deeply nonetheless. For example, Prue's proclamations that "she would never grow up and never leave home" and her "feeling what an extraordinary stroke of fortune it was for her to have her" both communicate how passionate Prue is regarding this matter. The overpowering feelings Prue experiences are further expressed through the statement that Prue, "from having been quite grown up, a moment before, talking with the others, [she] became a child again." This is quite a striking shift and shows just how much of an effect the connection has on Prue. Her maturity level is broken down as she completely gives in to the moment.

The connection is very intense for Mrs. Ramsay, as well. Like Prue, in this moment, she loses her age and becomes "like a girl of twenty, full of

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