To the Lighthouse Chapter 17 Questions and Answers
by Virginia Woolf

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Chapter 17 Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. What does Mrs. Ramsay feel at the beginning of the dinner?

2. What does Lily observe about Mrs. Ramsay?

3. What are the thoughts of Tansley? of Bankes?

4. What are Lily’s thoughts about the relationships of men and women?

5. What is discussed at dinner?

6. What are Mrs. Ramsay’s thoughts about her husband’s silence?

7. What happens when the candles are lit?

8. What has happened to Paul and Minta during the afternoon?

9. What are Lily’s thoughts?

10. What is Mrs. Ramsay’s feeling about the evening?

1. Mrs. Ramsay feels exhausted and discouraged. She wonders what she’s done with her life and doesn’t feel any emotion for her husband.

2. Lily observes that Mrs. Ramsay looks tired. She senses that she pities Mr. Bankes.

3. Tansley can’t stand the superficiality of the conversation; he thinks that women make civilization impossible. Bankes is bored and uncomfortable with all the talking.

4. Lily feels that relationships between men and women are basically insincere.

5. Talk at the dinner table is of politics and the declining fishing industry.

6. Mrs. Ramsay wishes her husband would talk, because she feels his words are sincere and pointed.

7. When the candles are lit, the faces around the table seem closer together. The dark night is shut out and the group becomes conscious of their relationship together.

8. Paul and Minta have become engaged.

9. Lily is disturbed by Mrs. Ramsay’s power over the group. In contrast to her exuberance, Lily feels a poverty of spirit. Her emotions become feverish as she recognizes the conflict between her own wants and what the Ramsays seem to require.

10. Mrs. Ramsay feels optimistic and joyful, watching her guests eat. She feels that this moment of peace allows that which endures.