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Virginia Woolf’s “To the Lighthouse” Quotes (40 Quotes)


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  • How then did it work out, all this? How did one judge people, think of them? How did one add up this and that and conclude that it is liking one felt, or disliking? And to those words, what meaning attached, after all?
    (Virginia Woolf, "To the Lighthouse")

  • The strange thing about life is that though the nature of it must have been apparent to every one for hundreds of years, no one has left any adequate account of it.
    (Virginia Woolf, "To the Lighthouse")

  • If Shakespeare had never existed, he asked, would the world have differed much from what it is today? Does the progress of civilization depend upon great men? Is the lot of the average human being better now that in the time of the Pharaohs?
    (Virginia Woolf, "To the Lighthouse")

  • The very stone one kicks with one's boot will outlast Shakespeare.
    (Virginia Woolf, "To the Lighthouse")

  • A sort of transaction went on between them, in which she was on one side, and life was on another, and she was always trying to get the better of it, as it was of her.
    (Virginia Woolf, "To the Lighthouse")


  • It flattered her, where she was most susceptible of flattery, to think how, wound about in their hearts, however long they lived she would be woven...
    (Virginia Woolf, "To the Lighthouse")

  • There is a coherence in things, a stability; something... is immune from change and shines out... in the face of the flowing, the fleeting, the spectral, like a ruby.
    (Virginia Woolf, "To the Lighthouse")

  • About here, she thought, dabbling her fingers in the water, a ship had sunk, and she muttered, dreamily half asleep, how we perished, each alone.
    (Virginia Woolf, "To the Lighthouse")

  • It seemed to her such nonsense-inventing differences, when people, heaven knows, were different enough without that.
    (Virginia Woolf, "To the Lighthouse")

  • They came to her, naturally, since she was a woman, all day long with this and that; one wanting this, another that; the children were growing up; she often felt she was nothing but a sponge sopped full of human emotions.
    (Virginia Woolf, "To the Lighthouse")

  • And then she said to herself, brandishing her sword at life, nonsense.
    (Virginia Woolf, "To the Lighthouse")

  • It was love, she thought, love that never clutch its object; but, like the love which mathematicians bear their symbols, or poets their phrases, was meant to be spread over the world and become part of human gain. The world by all means should have shared it, could Mr Bankes have said why that woman pleased him so; why the sight of her reading a fairy tale to her boy had upon him precisely the same effect as the solution of a scientific problem.
    (Virginia Woolf, "To the Lighthouse")

  • To pursue truth with such astonishing lack of consideration for other people's feelings, to rend the think veils of civilisation so wantonly, so brutally, was to her so horrible an outrage of human decency that, without replying, dazed and blinded, she bend her head as if to let her pelt f jagged hail, the drench of dirty water, bespatter her unrebuked.
    (Virginia Woolf, "To the Lighthouse")

  • Beauty had this penalty - it came too readily, came too completely. It stilled life - froze it. One forgot the little agitations; the flush, the pallor, some queer distortion, some light or shadow, which made the face unrecognizable for a moment and yet added a quality one saw for ever after.
    (Virginia Woolf, "To the Lighthouse")

  • Never did anybody look so sad. Bitter and black, halfway down, in the darkness, in the shaft which ran from the sunlight to the depths, perhaps a tear formed; a tear fell; the waves swayed this way and that, received it, and were at rest. Never did anybody look so sad.
    (Virginia Woolf, "To the Lighthouse")


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