To the Lighthouse | Study Guide

Virginia Woolf

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Course Hero. "To the Lighthouse Study Guide." Course Hero. 2 Dec. 2016. Web. 25 May 2018. <https://www.coursehero.com/lit/To-the-Lighthouse/>.

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Course Hero. (2016, December 2). To the Lighthouse Study Guide. In Course Hero. Retrieved May 25, 2018, from https://www.coursehero.com/lit/To-the-Lighthouse/

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Course Hero. "To the Lighthouse Study Guide." December 2, 2016. Accessed May 25, 2018. https://www.coursehero.com/lit/To-the-Lighthouse/.

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Course Hero, "To the Lighthouse Study Guide," December 2, 2016, accessed May 25, 2018, https://www.coursehero.com/lit/To-the-Lighthouse/.

To the Lighthouse | Time Passes, Chapter 4 | Summary

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Summary

The "stray airs" seep into the house again, encountering the things "people have shed and left." There is rarely movement: a loose rock in the valley, a "fold of the shawl" falling loose and swinging. Mrs. McNab arrives to air and clean the house.

Analysis

Remaining artifacts and groaning wood reflect the house's abandonment. The trees' shadows on the bedroom wall recall Mrs. Ramsay and her children watching birds fight over branches. The tree, a symbol of life, represents, with its shadows (a diminished image), Mrs. Ramsay's death and absence, a house no longer imbued with love and loveliness. Mrs. McNab is "directed" to conduct routine cleaning, showing the family managing the house from a distance. No one visits.

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