“Time Passes”

The mechanic of time works very differently in the second section of To The Lighthouse than it does in the first section. In the first section time passes extremely slowly, sometimes even stopping, and great emphasis is put on the interior of characters minds. In “Time Passes” this seems to flip. Time at the house is going by quickly, jumping from season to season, year to year. This section also is interested in the exterior, specifically what the house looks like. “The swallows nested in the drawing=room; the floor was strew with straw; the plaster fell in shovelfuls; rafters were laid bare.”(137) This section also under-emphasizes the actual characters of the story by related the deaths of Mrs. Ramsay, Prue, and Andrew all within brackets as if that information were an aside. This makes the section feel extremely dehumanized which mirrors the sense of dehumanization felt by the survivors of WWI. “Time Passes” presents the cruelty of nature, especially in its ability to continue on cyclically without the need for human life.

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One thought on ““Time Passes”

  1. I agree with you that in part two, “Time Passing”, time becomes very fluid and fast. It seemed as though in part one, Woolf tries to show that time spent with loved ones goes extremely slow, and is most remembered. I liked how you mentioned time is almost stopped for the characters in part one, while time in part two becomes vapid stream of chaos. Woolf said, “What people had shed and left—a pair of shoes, a shooting cap, some faded skirts and coats in wardrobes—those alone kept the human shape and in the emptiness indicated how once they were filled and animated; (page 129).” In Part two it describes that everything has changed, so fast that everything seemed empty.

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