Virginia Woolf - To the Lighthouse

Aske Tim Sparrebro, Dalinda Aliji, Saher Amir, Mette Frisgaard Dreier & Janne Maria Lea Winther Larsen

Studenteropgave: Semesterprojekt


This study aims to show that literature can be used to better understand the complex relation between consciousness, and the human experience. This is done, by investigating the special narrative mode stream of consciousness as presented in Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse. In this investigation the study draws on the work of psychologist William James and philosopher Henri Bergson who both expand upon the nature of consciousness, as well as literary theory by critics Thurah, Larsen and Hejlsted. With insights from all these in mind, the novel is then thoroughly analyzed, with particular attention being paid to, other than the narrative mode itself, the three-part structure and the presentation of time as a representation of consciousness within the work. To fully grasp the idea of the stream of consciousness-mode of narration, and its significance in To the Lighthouse, the study also briefly examines the literary period of modernism, in which the novel was penned, and the life of its author. The study concludes that the stream of consciousness- technique is a distinct product of the developments of the modernist period. Further Henri Bergson’s concept of an ‘inner time’, la dureé, is strongly though indirectly, represented throughout. These two elements by James and Bergson together, help create a uniquely detailed and yet still standing picture of the nature of human consciousness, which is normally ever-changing, elusive and extraordinary hard to pin down. This can be helped through the more tangible medium of literature.

UddannelserBasis - Humanistisk Bacheloruddannelse, (Bachelor uddannelse) Basis
Udgivelsesdato18 dec. 2014
VejledereCharlotte Engberg


  • Virginia Woolf
  • To the Lighthouse