The lighthouse Essay

This essay has a total of 715 words and 3 pages.

the lighthouse

The Two-Dimensional Character
In the novel, To the Lighthouse, Virginia Woolf illustrates the character of Mr. Ramsay, a
husband and father of eight children. As a husband, he degrades and mentally abuses his
wife, Mrs. Ramsay, and as a father, he disparages and psychologically injures his
children. Yet, Mr. Ramsay has another side -- a second dimension. He carries the traits of
a very compassionate and loving husband and a securing and nurturing father. Although
Woolf depicts Mr. Ramsay as crude, brusque, and insensitive, he, nonetheless, desires
happiness and welfare for his family.

Even though Mr. Ramsay frequently scolds and denounces Mrs. Ramsay, he still seeks
happiness and comfort for his wife. For example, after Mrs. Ramsay lies to James about the
next day's weather, "He [Mr. Ramsay] stamped his foot on the stone step. 'Damn you,' he
said." (31) Mr. Ramsay devastates his wife's emotions. Because of a little lie, the
temperamental Mr. Ramsay hurts, if not kills, Mrs. Ramsay's emotions. Still, right after
the incident, Mr. Ramsay self-reflects and "[he was] ashamed of that petulance [that he
brought to his wife]." (32) Mr. Ramsay understands and regrets the sorrow he brought on
Mrs. Ramsay. He sympathizes with her and is "ashamed" for what he had done. Mr. Ramsay
wants to appease his wife and make her happy as a result of the torment that he inflicted
on her. Next, Woolf again illustrates Mr. Ramsay's insensitive dimension when Mr. Ramsay
makes Mrs. Ramsay "bend her head as if to let the pelt of jagged hail, the drench of dirty
water, bespatter her unrebuked." (32) Mr. Ramsay is heartless to his wife's feelings; it
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