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IlanaSimons
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Part 2: Time Passes

Woolf said she wanted to invent a new genre, which was not quite novel or poem or essay. She thought of To the Lighthouse as an elegy, and not simply a novel. Does this middle section work for you? How does the style clarify the theme?



Ilana
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piihonua
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Re: Part 2: Time Passes

I really enjoyed "Time Passes", I felt it added a new dimension to the story, it's full of imagery and quite frankly, a nice break from the mounting tension between the characters. We're also taking a break from the thoughts of the principle characters and looking at the house and garden from the eyes of the "help".
Has this novel ever been adapted for the stage? It seems to have so much stage presence, especially this section.
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IlanaSimons
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Re: Part 2: Time Passes

It's cool that you say that "Time Passes" shows us the world from the eyes of the "help." Yes--we enter the viewpoint of that quiet woman who cleans the room, who witnesses life but isn't in the position to make her judgment known.
We *also* feel like we're in a divine or godly head here: moving with the grand sweep of time. So Virignia mingles the poor and the divine in this section.
She didn't believe in a traditional Christian God but thought that human life--our knowing each other, making meaning, communicating, thru time--created a fabric of "knowing" like the traditional God provided.



piihonua wrote:
I really enjoyed "Time Passes", I felt it added a new dimension to the story, it's full of imagery and quite frankly, a nice break from the mounting tension between the characters. We're also taking a break from the thoughts of the principle characters and looking at the house and garden from the eyes of the "help".
Has this novel ever been adapted for the stage? It seems to have so much stage presence, especially this section.





Ilana
Check out my book, here and visit my website, here.


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CallMeLeo
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Re: Part 2: Time Passes


IlanaSimons wrote:
Woolf said she wanted to invent a new genre, which was not quite novel or poem or essay. She thought of To the Lighthouse as an elegy, and not simply a novel. Does this middle section work for you? How does the style clarify the theme?





I find the 'Time Passes' piece full of ghosts and touched with sadness. The house is now empty and isolated (more so because of the war), yet the memories attached to it live on. Nature is in the process of claiming its own, erroding paint and plaster with the everpresent lighthouse and its beam like an eye illuminating and watching the house.

I thought of Mrs. Ramsay continuously throughout the piece, sensing her presence. I took the inclusion of the deaths of Andrew (the Just) and Pru (the Fair) as synonymous with the deaths of what is good and beautiful in the world, heralding changing times and different ideals.

This piece definitely worked for me as a transition. It had very strong and beautiful imagery. Everytime another fold on the shawl fell, I swear saw it happen.
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IlanaSimons
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Re: Part 2: Time Passes



CallMeLeo wrote:

I took the inclusion of the deaths of Andrew (the Just) and Pru (the Fair) as synonymous with the deaths of what is good and beautiful in the world, heralding changing times and different ideals.

This piece definitely worked for me as a transition.




Fantastic points. Some people read the Time Passes section as a symbol for World War I. Before the war (in section one), we have a family that's whole. During the war (middle section) there's fragmentation and--as you say so well--the death of the Just and Fair. After the war (last section) we have reparations--children trying to make peace with their past (with a still bitter Dad, with the death of Mom, with defining their identities as the next generation).



Ilana
Check out my book, here and visit my website, here.


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KristyR
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Re: Part 2: Time Passes

This section was so visual, I felt like I was watching a movie. Watching time pass, seasons change, events take place, all in a swirl of color and music, and needing no dialogue.
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psb
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Re: Part 2: Time Passes

IlanaSimons wrote:
"Woolf said she wanted to invent a new genre, which was not quite novel or poem or essay. She thought of To the Lighthouse as an elegy, and not simply a novel. Does this middle section work for you? How does the style clarify the theme?"




The language and imagery of this section is so amazing. I think it reads as one long "poem" and is the part of the book I love the most.

"But what after all is one night? A short space, especially when the
darkness dims so soon, and so soon a bird sings, a cock crows, or a
faint green quickens, like a turning leaf, in the hollow of the wave.
Night, however, succeeds to night. The winter holds a pack of them in
store and deals them equally, evenly, with indefatigable fingers.
They lengthen; they darken. Some of them hold aloft clear planets,
plates of brightness. The autumn trees, ravaged as they are, take
on the flash of tattered flags kindling in the gloom of cool
cathedral caves where gold letters on marble pages describe death in
battle and how bones bleach and burn far away in Indian sands. The
autumn trees gleam in the yellow moonlight, in the light of harvest
moons, the light which mellows the energy of labour, and smooths the
stubble, and brings the wave lapping blue to the shore."
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psb
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Re: Part 2: Time Passes


piihonua wrote:

Has this novel ever been adapted for the stage? It seems to have so much stage presence, especially this section.




There was a BBC movie adaptation of "To the Lighthouse". It's not recent and is set in Cornwall not Scotland.
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JesseBC
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Re: Part 2: Time Passes

What struck me about this section was the sense of futility.

The characters (whose thoughts loomed so large in Part I) are reduced to parenthetical footnotes, mostly recording their deaths.

From Chapter 4: "Loveliness and stillness clasped hands in the bedroom, and among the shrouded jugs and sheeted chairs even the prying of the wind, and the soft nose of the clammy sea airs, rubbing, snuffling, iterating, and reiterating their questions -- "Will you fade? Will you perish?" -- scarcely disturbed the peace, the indifference, the air of pure integrity, as if the question they asked scarcely needed that they should answer: we remain."

Death is implacable. Immortality is out of reach. They never did make it to the lighthouse.
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