In the end, what is the "the light in the heart" that the ghosts are looking for?

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Virginia Woolf's "A Haunted House " explores the lives of the narrator and her husband, who live in a home alongside two ghosts. The ghosts are searching the house, on the hunt for something they've lost. The narrator believes they're searching for a treasure, and she's anxious to...

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Virginia Woolf's "A Haunted House" explores the lives of the narrator and her husband, who live in a home alongside two ghosts. The ghosts are searching the house, on the hunt for something they've lost. The narrator believes they're searching for a treasure, and she's anxious to see their search through.

As the narrator learns about their past, she discovers that the two ghosts were once married and very much in love. The wife died long before the husband, and he spent the rest of his life traveling all around the world, before returning home to die in the same place as his wife. From this revelation, the narrator understands they are searching for love, something the male ghost never found again on earth after losing his wife.

Death was the glass; death was between us; coming to the woman first, hundreds of years ago, leaving the house, sealing all the windows; the rooms were darkened. He left it, left her, went North, went East, saw the stars turned in the Southern sky; sought the house, found it dropped beneath the Downs.

At the end of the story, the ghosts visit the narrator and her husband while both are asleep. The narrator wakes up because the ghosts are holding a silver lantern, the light of which represents "the light in the heart." The ghosts see their love in the narrator and her husband and find peace in the fact that another couple is in love in their home. The narrator feels their love and awakes.

Waking, I cry “Oh, is this your buried treasure? The light in the heart.”

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The narrator describes the joy of being in love as a " light in the heart".  It's obvious the two ghosts were very much in love when they lived in the house where the narrator and her husband now reside. As ghosts, the couple can no longer feel the joy and other emotions that loving another person can bring, and they want to recapture those feelings. That is what the ghosts are looking for; they want to experience again those feelings and cannot since they are no longer human. The narrator and the two ghosts realize that what the ghosts have been searching for lies within the narrator, in the love that she has for her husband.

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