‘To the Lighthouse’
‘To the Lighthouse’ is autobiographical novel by Virginia. This novel is written in stream of consciousness technique. In stream of consciousness novel, author never comes to say or clarified anything about character. She deals with very serious topic like ‘human relationship’ with near and dear one.
I am agreeing with, that in the novel we found both thing tribute and critique of the character of Mrs. Ramsay. Character of Mrs. Ramsay is like typical and ideal Indian woman. In India image of woman is like ‘dasi’- as servant of house, ‘manthri’ – as advisor and helper, ‘mata’ – good food maker and caretaker, ‘Rumbha’ – beautiful and loving, ‘Laxmi’ – dedication and humility, ‘Dharitri’ – compaction, this all are quality of typical and perfect Indian women. This all are quality of perfect housewife. This all quality we found in character of Mrs. Ramsay. In painting of Lily Briscoe, what type of painting is? What she (Mrs. Ramsay) was doing in painting. Mrs. Ramsay is sitting beside her son Jams and knitting something for children of whom live near to the lighthouse. And she is thinking about those children. Mrs. Ramsay is loving, caring and beautiful housewife. She used to take care of house hold things, kitchen and entire family. Mrs. Ramsay is more enduring woman. Lily doesn’t like or she is against of idea of enduring. Lily is totally different form Mrs. Ramsay. Virginia creates Lily’s character as independent woman because she wants to present herself through the character Lily. Why she creates character of Mrs. Ramsay?
Symbol is anything which signified something. In this novel Virginia used many symbols. The title itself is one symbol. The lighthouse gives guide to the lost boat in dark see (at night). Here lighthouse is symbol of spiritual strength and emotion. Same Mrs. Ramsay is also compared with light house. She is full of emotion and she gives guidance to all family members. She is stand strongly like lighthouse. In other sense stoicism of Lily Briscoe is also compared with lighthouse. Because lighthouse is standing on one place only, it cannot move. There is storm and heavy rain in to see but the lighthouse is stay there and doing its work. Same in Lily’s character, many time and many people like Mrs. Ramsay and other give her advice to her a bought merge. Some says you cannot paint. But she continued her work (painting) and completes panting. At some point Virginia represent herself through the character of Lily Briscoe. In the point of stoicism lighthouse is compared with narrator (Virginia) also.
Kunstlerroman is German term, in which we found, a novel or book deals with the youth and development of an individual, who want to be – painter, musician, poet etc. in this novel we found that the character of Lily Briscoe, she wants to be painter. The growth of Lily as individual is found in the novel. So we can justify that this novel ‘To the Lighthouse’ is Kunstlerroman novel.
Here in Greek mythology we found feminine principle in life over the masculine. In this novel lighthouse is compared with shrine of Mrs. Ramsay and she is like goddess of this shrine. Pagan goddess is more motherly centered. Idea of reproduction is basically connected with woman. In myth Reha protect Zeus, her son and in the novel Mrs. Ramsay gives protection to her son little son Jeams.
With final stroke on the canvass, painting of Mrs. Ramsay was completed. In the end of novel we give two type of interpretation. First one is, Lily completed her painting she proves herself. And the she remember Mrs. Ramsay and uttered you are wrong, I am happy without marriage and I have completed my painting. It was done. Look at your daughter she was not happy with her marriage life. And the second one is, in description of last seen we found Lily completed Mrs. Ramsay’s painting, it means that Mrs. Ramsay was in Lily’s mind, she think about life style of Mrs. Ramsay. What Lily is doing after completing her painting? Lily Briscoe gently close door- speaks “close door open window”, this sentence was uttered by Mrs. Ramsay in novel. “Dearest Briscoe you are a fool”. Hera may be she is realized that what she is thinking was wrong. Lily does everything (after completing her painting) which is done by Mrs. Ramsay. May be she became another Mrs. Ramsay. Both type of end are possible because this novel is open ended novel.