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To the Lighthouse

To the Lighthouse

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Published by alharifa

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Published by: alharifa on Nov 22, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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To the Lighthouse
Character List 
Mrs. Ramsay
- Mr. Ramsay's wife. Abeautiful and loving woman, Mrs. Ramsay is a wonderfulhostess who takes pride in making memorable experiences forthe guests at the family's summer home on the Isle of Skye.Affirming traditional gender roles wholeheartedly, shelavishes particular attention on her male guests, who shebelieves have delicate egos and need constant support andsympathy. She is a dutiful and loving wife but often struggleswith her husband's difficult moods and selfishness. Withoutfail, however, she triumphs through these difficult times anddemonstrates an ability to make something significant andlasting from the most ephemeral of circumstances, such as adinner party.
Mr. Ramsay
- Mrs. Ramsay's husband,and a prominent metaphysical philosopher. Mr. Ramsay loveshis family but often acts like something of a tyrant. He tendsto be selfish and harsh due to his persistent personal andprofessional anxieties. He fears, more than anything, that hiswork is insignificant in the grand scheme of things and that
he will not be remembered by future generations. Well awareof how blessed he is to have such a wonderful family, henevertheless tends to punish his wife, children, and guests bydemanding their constant sympathy, attention, and support.
Lily Briscoe
- A young, single painterwho befriends the Ramsays on the Isle of Skye. Like Mr.Ramsay, Lily is plagued by fears that her work lacks worth.She begins a portrait of Mrs. Ramsay at the beginning of thenovel but has trouble finishing it. The opinions of men likeCharles Tansley, who insists that women cannot paint orwrite, threaten to undermine her confidence.
James Ramsay
- The Ramsays' youngestson. James loves his mother deeply and feels a murderousantipathy toward his father, with whom he must compete forMrs. Ramsay's love and affection. At the beginning of thenovel, Mr. Ramsay refuses the six-year-old James's request togo to the lighthouse, saying that the weather will be foul andnot permit it; ten years later, James finally makes the journeywith his father and his sister Cam. By this time, he hasgrown into a willful and moody young man who has much incommon with his father, whom he detests.
 Paul Rayley
- A young friend of theRamsays who visits them on the Isle of Skye. Paul is a kind,impressionable young man who follows Mrs. Ramsay's
wishes in marrying Minta Doyle.
Minta Doyle
- A flighty young womanwho visits the Ramsays on the Isle of Skye. Minta marriesPaul Rayley at Mrs. Ramsay's wishes.
Charles Tansley
- A young philosopherand pupil of Mr. Ramsay who stays with the Ramsays on theIsle of Skye. Tansley is a prickly and unpleasant man whoharbors deep insecurities regarding his humble background.He often insults other people, particularly women such asLily, whose talent and accomplishments he constantly callsinto question. His bad behavior, like Mr. Ramsay's, ismotivated by his need for reassurance.
William Bankes
- A botanist and oldfriend of the Ramsays who stays on the Isle of Skye. Bankesis a kind and mellow man whom Mrs. Ramsay hopes willmarry Lily Briscoe. Although he never marries her, Bankesand Lily remain close friends.
Augustus Carmichael
- An opium-usingpoet who visits the Ramsays on the Isle of Skye. Carmichaellanguishes in literary obscurity until his verse becomespopular during the war.
Andrew Ramsay
- The oldest of theRamsays' sons. Andrew is a competent, independent youngman, and he looks forward to a career as a mathematician.

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