Why is To The Lighthouse, by Virginia Woolf, considered a classic?

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Virginia Woolf's To The Lighthouse is considered a classic simply because it has stood the test of time and endured for nearly a century as a crowning achievement not only for feminist literature, but literature as a whole. Woolf utilizes a beautiful, poetic prose to describe the complex relationships among members of a family organized into an, at the time, relatively new style of narrative known as stream of consciousness.

Though it had been pioneered by writers such as James Joyce and was currently under experimentation by contemporaries of Woolf such as William Faulkner, Woolf expanded on the style even further by abandoning Joyce's fragmented, thought-mimicking style in favor of a lyrical summary of the abstractions of the mind. The novel is a truly human experience, and examines relationships and what is needed to bridge gaps between people as no work had done before.

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The novel 'To The Lighthouse' by Virginia Woolf is considered a classic because not only was it ground-breaking and arresting when it was published, it has also stood the test of time and remains a beacon of it's kind- one that illuminates literature,and feminist literature,today.

It is quite something for any novelist,such as James Joyce, to throw deeply-held traditions and rules of writing out of the window, but he was a man. He pulled it off because of his education, genius,status and contacts, but for a woman to do this innovative work at a time of limited opportunities for women was even more remarkable.

Some of Woolf's brave innovations were a fairly new style of narrative called 'stream-of-consciousness' also experimented with by James Joyce. She also tackled thorny and controversial subjects such as the consideration of whether marriage was in fact the best role for every woman. Woolf was not afraid of broaching philosophy and social comment in her works, as some women had been before her.

 

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