To the Lighthouse

An Analysis of Chapter 17 in To The Lighthouse 12th Grade

Chapter 17 sees all members of the Ramsay family and their guests at dinner. The interaction of these characters in this chapter allows for themes such as challenging expectations and, more importantly, the theme of communication to be explored. These themes in particular are concerns of the novel as a whole, meaning that Chapter 17 can be explored as a reflection of the entire novel. The nature of the event occurring within the chapter also allows Woolf to exercise the stream of consciousness style, making each character extremely realistic as the reader follows a constant flow of one thought going onto the next.

There is a definite lack of communication in Chapter 17, made particularly evident through the internal thoughts of the individuals at the dinner table. As the chapter opens, the lack of communication in the relationship between Mrs Ramsay and the rest of the family is immediately brought into the mind of the reader. The dinner party shows Mrs Ramsay make the most sincere effort to get people speaking, to involved them and create something of the time they have together. This shows that communication is important to her and this seen also in other areas of the novel in her desire to match people together for...

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