Literature Study GuidesTo The LighthouseThe Lighthouse Chapter 9 Summary

To the Lighthouse | Study Guide

Virginia Woolf

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To the Lighthouse | The Lighthouse, Chapter 9 | Summary



As Lily Briscoe gazes at the still and peaceful sea that "stretche[s] like silk across the bay," she worries over the power of distance. She cannot find Mr. Ramsay's boat, and she fears her friends are "gone for ever ... becom[ing] part of the nature of things."


The chapter is enclosed in brackets, signifying an external observation. The structure suggests Lily is completely invested in finding the boat. Her fear alludes to the unaddressed trauma of Mrs. Ramsay's death, developing the theme of love and loss. As she searches for the group whom she fears may be "swallowed up" by the sea, she seems afraid to lose more.

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