To the Lighthouse Questions and Answers
by Virginia Woolf

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Why is Viginia Woolfe's To the Lighthouse considered a modern text?

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Woolf's To The Lighthouse is modernist because it experiments with the novel form. First, Woolf tells the story through stream-of-consciousness narration. This means there is no omniscient, objective narrative voice telling us what is going on: the story is told through the subjective thoughts of various characters. This creates the fragmented feeling of the novel and captures the way most of us experience reality: through the unreliable filter of our emotions and desires.

The novel also experiments with time. The bulk of the novel covers one afternoon and evening at the Ramsey's beach home on the Isle of Skye as the parents discuss whether they can take a boat out to the lighthouse the next day, Lily works on a painting, and Mrs. Ramsey carries off the triumph of a successful dinner...

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To The Lighthouse does not follow the chronological time but psychological time which runs on a vertical scale and crosses the horizontal scale of chronological time in the middle. This technique "Stream of Consciousness" does not only follow the terrain of thoughts of various characters but also help us formulate opinions about them over the course of time. We jump from one mind to the other, also in the mind of a character we follow a chain of thoughts; synonymous to the erratic time pattern of mind-time.