To the Lighthouse Chapters 3 and 4 Questions and Answers
by Virginia Woolf

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Chapters 3 and 4 Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. Why does Mrs. Ramsay feel an “impulse of terror”?

2. Why does Mrs. Ramsay feel Lily will probably never marry?

3. What does Lily think of Mr. Ramsay?

4. Why doesn’t Lily want to paint like the popular Mr. Paunceforte?

5. How do Lily Briscoe and William Bankes relate to one another?

6. Describe the view that Lily and Bankes look upon?

7. What is Mr. Bankes’ relationship with Mr. Ramsay?

8. How does Bankes’ view Mr. Ramsay’s family responsibilities?

9. How does Lily compare Mr. Bankes and Mr. Ramsay?

10. Explain how Lily understands Mr. Ramsay’s work.

Answers
1. Mrs. Ramsay suddenly notices the absence of household sounds. The sounds of her husband and Mr. Tansley and the children’s playing have stopped and the sound of the waves startle her. She is reminded of the ephemeral nature of life. The day is slipping by, as is life.

2. Lily’s “little Chinese eyes and her puckered-up face” seemed, at this moment, unattractive. She doesn’t take Lily or her painting very seriously.

3. Lily recognizes that Mr. Ramsay is ridiculous in all his strange posturing and shouting, but she also admires his intellectual honesty.

4. Lily is very aware of the vibrant colors of the world, the purples and greens and whites. She feels that Mr. Paunceforte’s pale colors don’t match the reality she sees.

5. Lily and Mr. Bankes feel comfortable with one another. They live in the same rooming house and run into each other frequently. They are both rather sensible people, who respect each other’s “no nonsense” approach to life.

6. Bankes and Briscoe look out on the blue waters of the bay. They see the very blue waters, the blackness of the waves, a fountain of white water, spurting behind a rock, a sailboat, the foam from the waves on the shore, the sand dunes in the distance.

7. William Bankes has known Mr. Ramsay for many years.
He goes to some effort to keep the friendship...

(The entire section is 496 words.)