To the Lighthouse
Penguin Critical Studies
Penguin, London 1989

In her study Stevie Davies discusses the different perspectives in the novel and looks at its central figures, who are based on Virginia Woolf's parents: her father, whom she perceived as a threat to her independence and creative authority, and her mother, the in-dwelling spirit of the novel. 

She also shows, by likening it to classical texts, how the work contains the classic features of elegy and how imagery pervading the novel, which echoes the myths of rape, loss and transformation, reveals a longing for pre-conscious blessedness. 

Important too is the ever-persistent metaphor of the sea, which becomes both a mirror for human narcissism, reflecting terrible, meaningless self-images, and a Sea of Life from whose decomposition new births arise. The sea without is continually answered in the novel by the sea within, 'the Mind, that Ocean'.

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