To the Lighthouse Chapters 5-7 Questions and Answers

Virginia Woolf

Chapters 5-7 Questions and Answers

Study Questions
1. Why does Lily feel depressed watching the Ramsay’s boat sail off?

2. What does Lily feel like asking Mr. Carmichael?

3. What memory is etched in Lily’s mind?

4. What is Lily’s goal for her painting?

5. How has the Rayley marriage turned out?

6. Describe Lily’s relationship with William Bankes.

7. Why does Lily call out to Mrs. Ramsay?

8. Why does Lily cry?

9. How does Lily envision Mrs. Ramsay as she paints?

10. What does Lily ask as she looks out to sea?

Answers
1. Lily feels depressed that she hasn’t given Mr. Ramsay the sympathy that he had wanted.

2. Lily feels like asking Carmichael if he remembers the Ramsays and Minta Doyle as she does.

3. Lily recalls vividly one particular day at the beach. Mrs. Ramsay had been writing letters, sitting on a rock. She had looked up and seeing something in the waves had searched for her spectacles. She had asked, “Is it a boat? Is it a cork?” Mrs. Ramsay somehow managed to lighten Charles Tansley’s mood, and Lily and Charles had been more companionable than heretofore.

4. Lily wants her painting to be beautiful and evanescent on the surface, but solid as iron underneath.

5. The Rayley marriage has not turned out well. Paul spends a lot of time in coffeehouses. Lily has observed the tension and unhappiness of the couple.

6. Lily and William Bankes have enjoyed a mutually satisfying friendship. They enjoy discussing art and ideas. They spend pleasant days together.

7. Lily calls out to Mrs. Ramsay when she looks at the empty steps and feels a longing for what isn’t there. The emptiness suggests to her the difficulty of communicating one’s thoughts.

8. Lily cries because she is overcome with thoughts of the enigma of life: What does it mean? As thoughts about the uncertainty of life (Was there no safety?) overcome her, tears roll down her cheeks, and she calls out again to Mrs. Ramsay.

9. Lily envisions Mrs. Ramsay sitting by her side. She also sees her holding a wreath of white flowers to her forehead.

10. Lily asks, “Where are they now?” Her question encompasses more than the Ramsay’s progress at sea. It suggests where they are emotionally.