To the Lighthouse | Criticism

This literature criticism consists of approximately 16 pages of analysis & critique of To the Lighthouse.
This section contains 4,351 words
(approx. 15 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Ruby Cohn

SOURCE: “Art in ‘To the Lighthouse,’” in Modern Fiction Studies, Vol. VIII, No. 2, Summer, 1962, pp. 127–36.

In the following essay, Cohn describes Mrs. Ramsay and Lily Briscoe as “magnetic poles,” representing, respectively, the forces of life and art.

When Mr. Ramsay lands on the lighthouse rock, Lily Briscoe finishes her painting. All critics agree on the intimate and essential relation between these final events of Virginia Woolf's To The Lighthouse.1 Several critics have commented, too, on how Lily Briscoe's painting structures the book.2 But there has not been adequate appreciation of the way in which the theme of art functions in To The Lighthouse. Neither Leonard Woolf's term “psychological poem” nor Virginia Woolf's own hesitant suggestion of “elegy” succeeds in classifying the book, for, in part at least, it is a work of art about art—as are Hamlet and Don Quixote; as is much of the creation of...

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This section contains 4,351 words
(approx. 15 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Ruby Cohn
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Critical Essay by Ruby Cohn from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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