To the Lighthouse Chapters 18 and 19 Questions and Answers

Virginia Woolf

Chapters 18 and 19 Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. What is on Mrs. Ramsay’s mind as she ascends the stairs?

2. Why are the children still awake at 11 p.m.?

3. How does Mrs. Ramsay comfort Cam? James?

4. How does Mrs. Ramsay feel about her guests going to the beach at night?

5. What is Mr. Ramsay doing in the drawing room?

6. What occupies Mrs. Ramsay’s mind, as she sits near her husband?

7. What is Mr. Ramsay’s conclusion about Sir Walter Scott’s novel?

8. What does Mrs. Ramsay read?

9. What impact does Mrs. Ramsay’s reading have on her?

10. What enables Mr. and Mrs. Ramsay to feel re-united at the end of this section?

Answers
1. Mrs. Ramsay is trying to identify something meaningful out of the events of the day.

2. James and Cam are still awake because they are fighting about the boar’s head skull on the wall. Cam is afraid of the shadows it makes on the wall; James refuses to have it removed.

3. Mrs. Ramsay places her shawl on the skull so that James’ need is met: it is not removed. She makes up a fanciful story, filled with birds and trees and fairies, so that Cam sees the shape, not as menacing, but as beautiful.

4. Mrs. Ramsay is almost girlish in her enthusiasm. She becomes very animated as she encourages them to embark on this marvelous adventure.

5. Mr. Ramsay is deeply engrossed in reading one of Sir Walter Scott’s novels.

6. Mrs. Ramsay feels distracted, trying to figure out what it is she wants.

7. Mr. Ramsay concludes that no matter what the current fashion is, Scott’s simplicity and passion and ability to move are unparalleled.

8. Mrs. Ramsay picks up a poetry book to read.

9. After reading randomly a number of verses, a sonnet strikes her as conveying the essence of life. She feels satisfied and rested.

10. The fact that each has untangled some of his/her own thoughts and are able to appreciate their life, enables them to turn, once again, to each other.