To the Lighthouse Questions and Answers
by Virginia Woolf

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Examine the concept of time in Virgina Woolf's To The Lighthouse.

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I'd like to expand upon the other answer to this question by looking at time's power to outlast human life in the famous "Time Passes" section. Here, Woolf focuses on how the passage of time affects the Ramsay summer home when its primary inhabitants are gone. Lasting a period of roughly a decade (or, at the very least, a number of years which include the outbreak of the First World War and the subsequent armistice four years later), "Time Passes" witnesses the gradual decay of the Ramsay house.

Abandoned by the Ramsay family, the house is slowly reclaimed by nature, with birds and toads nesting in the woodwork and weeds and wild grasses taking over first the garden, then the interior. During this time, Woolf seems to more or less forget about her main characters, relegating their activities to condensed bracketed paragraphs, despite the fact that these activities would normally take up a large portion of any conventional narrative—Andrew and Mrs. Ramsay, for instance, die all of a...

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