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Biplob Prodhan
  • 4 weeks ago
  • 45
Justify the title of the novel To the Lighthouse.


Introduction: It is generally assumed that the title of a novel should be expressive of its theme. The title of To the Lighthouse is very significant and relevant to the theme of the novel. The Lighthouse is all-pervasive in the novel and it has been used as a symbol, but it very artistically serves the purpose of a unifying factor for the structural unity in the novel.

The image of the Lighthouse serves different purposes: As an image the Lighthouse serves several purposes. In the opening and concluding sections of the novel, it is an opposite of the window and thus it suggests male as opposite to the female principle. But this relationship is always complex. The two images are conceived in a dual function, constantly alternating with each other. The Lighthouse may be taken as external to the window’s internal vision, but the window is also the recipient of the beam from the Lighthouse. The difference between the two images is manifest and so it seems; imeconcilable. But the Lighthouse is actively engaged in time, movement and change. It reveals the ‘movement in its vivid interaction between consciousness and world.

Related to human tradition: The Lighthouse is man-made but at the same time it is something permanent and enduring; man has built it in the flux of time to guide and control ships and their trews and passengers who are always at the mercy of destructive forces. Thus it is related to the human tradition and its values which dure from generation to generation, and which speaks of both the stity and continuity of man. To Mrs. Ramsay, as she sits knitting by the window of her house, the Lighthouse seems to be at one the light of truth, stern, searching, and beautiful, and a light with which she can unite her own personality. At another moment it seems to her to be steady, pitiless, and remorseless but also at certais times a reminder of past ecstasy. moment

The Lighthouse serves as a symbol: The Lighthouse serves as a symbol also of the quest for the values which it suggests. As a child, James feels a great longing to visit the Lighthouse but his longing is thwarted by foul weather. As his mother offers to him a hope that a trip to the Lighthouse might be possible if the weather is fine, he feels even more attached to his mother. But, as his father obstinately repeats that the weather would not be fine, the childis filled with hatred for his father and would like even to kill him with an axe or some other weapon if he can lay his hands upon it. Ten years later, James, who is now sixteen, sails to the Lighthouse with his father, though this time he has no desire to visit it. As he skilfully steers the boat towards the tower on the rock, hating his father for his egotistical tyranny, the father compliments him on his skilful steering. With this praise from his father the world seems to have been transformed into something beautiful and marvellous for James, who now gets rid of his sense of alienation from his father. He would now like his father to ask him for something which he would gladly give him.

Conclusion: To sum up, the journey from the beginning of the novel to its close, is the journey to the Lighthouse. The three phases of the journey. The Window, “Time Passes and The Lighthouse represent alternatively the periods of light and dark in the life of the Ramsay family. So structurally, the pattern of the Lighthouse beam with its rhythmic steady flashes to light through the darkness forms a basic pattern of the novel itself. Thus the title of the novel is quite appropriate and just.

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Biplob Prodhan
Biplob Prodhan Founder & Director EDNOUB Foundation Ednoub Private Program

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