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"That fluidity out there" - Epiphanies and the Sea in Virginia Woolf's "To the Lighthouse"


  • Lisa Larsson

Summary, in English

Epiphanies constitute an essential aspect of Woolf's fiction, as well as her ideas about fiction. In "To the Lighthouse" they are part of the structure, but also part of the experience of life, how the flux of existence is perceived. This essay focuses not only on the ?little daily miracles? which replace a great revelation, but also on the nature of the chaos, the passing and flowing, in which they occur. Here the sea becomes important, as a presence which interacts in various ways with the characters, shapes their thoughts and affects their world view. The essay argues that flowing thoughts interrupted by epiphanies form the structure of the novel; that this structure rests on certain philosophical conceptions of thought, memory and time; and that a careful observation of the sea and how it relates to the epiphanies is a relevant point of departure for an interpretative reading of the novel.


Publishing year




Document type

Student publication for Bachelor's degree


  • Languages and Literatures


  • Virginia Woolf
  • To the Lighthouse
  • Epiphany
  • Epifanier
  • English language and literature
  • Engelska (språk och litteratur)


  • David Bell