InterChange Conference on Woolf's To the Lighthouse (pp.1-71)
June 19, 2000
[Note: This conference question was not used for InterChange, but discussed after our InterChange discussions.]

Karin Westman:
Thinking about her regard for Mrs. Ramsay, her desire to connect with her, Lily remarks to herself, "How then, she had asked herself, did one know one thing or another thing about people, sealed as they were?" (51). Mrs. Ramsay, in turn, remarks to herself, that she "had a clear sense of [life] there, something real, something private, which she shared neither with her children nor with her husband" (59).

Given the difficulty of knowing others "sealed as they were," of the fact that life can exist as "something real, something private," what evidence of connection or communication between people do we have during these first 70 pages? What makes connection or communication between people desireable, even possible? What keeps them "sealed"?

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