Literature Study GuidesTo The LighthouseTime Passes Chapter 3 Summary

To the Lighthouse | Study Guide

Virginia Woolf

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To the Lighthouse | Time Passes, Chapter 3 | Summary



Images of autumn, winter, night, darkness, and destruction continue. Trees are tattered, ravaged. The images of closing curtains, broken treasures, and penitence evoke a mood of chaos and devastation. Mrs. Ramsay died unexpectedly during the night. In the "dark" morning, Mr. Ramsay walks down a hallway, stretching his arms in vain.


Time is unclear in this section. After the foreboding images of night (winter nights, autumn nights, what is seen in the moonlight), the darkness continues in the morning with news of Mrs. Ramsay's death. But readers do not know how much time has elapsed. The images of ravaged trees, in particular, symbolize the loss of life, love, and connection embodied in Mrs. Ramsay's existence. The images also reflect the dark, chaotic house, now without its light and its center.

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