The Time Passes section in To the Lighthouse is a complete change from The Window section. People seem to have disappeared. In The Window time was stretched out into a long passage, spanning over one afternoon. However, in Time Passes, time really does pass, ten years in fact, in a short passage. It was interesting to encounter Virginia writing over a span of time. Much of her writing seems to be condensed to short moments that seem so much longer in the minds of the characters. Going back to what was discussed about velocity, there is a sense of uncontrollable or even rational thought towards how time works. Time is not a tangible thing, it is psychological for people. A moment can last for hours or seem like a wisp in time. Everyone is living by their own clocks and their own time.
I got the impression that people weren’t very important in Time Passes. Earlier in the novel, so much had been focused on the inner workings of the characters’ minds. But in this section, whether there are people present or not, there is an absence of human life. There is something there though. The wind and the dust and the things that surround us on our day to day journeys are always present. I found that interesting because they are the things that people tend to find to have no intense value or importance in the grand scheme of life. They are a passing thought or comment, for sure, but they are ignored. It is ironic because in the end they will outlast us. They are more important to the world because they are the everlasting components that make the world go around to say. Mr. Ramsay with his philosophy will be forgotten as will Lily’s paintings at some point.
I mentioned this is in my post about Miss Ormerod…Virginia is fascinated or maybe terrified by the impact of the human print. So many of her characters are living day to day worrying about staying around after they are gone while they should be focusing on the important things. Her characters are always making mistakes, which is fine because that is what people do anyway in real life.
The reader gets the harsh reality that death is sudden and does not necessarily live that much of an impact as we would like to think it would. We would hope that there will be some to mourn our death, but in the end the ones that mourn for us will be forgotten and with them we are gone in the dust. The dust in the house that the housekeeper cleans away seems to be a reminder that that is what we will all become at one point. An indistinguishable particle that has nothing to say for itself and means nothing to anyone. It is dust, it is there, but it’s just dust.
I know my posts are always slightly morbid, but so is Virginia. She chooses these subjects and they are not light ones. Whatever joys she found in life, there aren’t many reflected in her work. I do find it ironic that she makes death out as such a depressing end in all and that everyone will be forgotten while she is writing a novel that is about her dead parents quite frequently.
WELCOME TO MY BLOG!
Hello all! My name is Drew Blanchette. I'm 21 years old and a class member of the Virginia Woolf Seminar. First and foremost, I must warn potential viewers that I have no knowledge of Virginia Woolf's work. I am hoping that as the class progresses and I have a chance to read her apparently fabulous works (or so I have been told) I will develop some knowledge and appreciation. As my blogs increase perhaps the reader will pick up on my progression! Hopefully whoever looks over my site will enjoy my posts and not be too bored by my analyzing attempts. Thanks ahead of time for viewing my site!