Customer Service | Help | FAQ | PEP-Easy | Report a Data Error | About
Tip: To zoom in or out on PEP-Web…

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

Are you having difficulty reading an article due its font size? In order to make the content on PEP-Web larger (zoom in), press Ctrl (on Windows) or ⌘Command (on the Mac) and the plus sign (+). Press Ctrl (on Windows) or ⌘Command (on the Mac) and the minus sign (-) to make the content smaller (zoom out). To go back to 100% size (normal size), press Ctrl (⌘Command on the Mac) + 0 (the number 0).

Another way on Windows: Hold the Ctrl key and scroll the mouse wheel up or down to zoom in and out (respectively) of the webpage. Laptop users may use two fingers and separate them or bring them together while pressing the mouse track pad.

Safari users: You can also improve the readability of you browser when using Safari, with the Reader Mode: Go to PEP-Web. Right-click the URL box and select Settings for This Website, or go to Safari > Settings for This Website. A large pop-up will appear underneath the URL box. Look for the header that reads, “When visiting this website.” If you want Reader mode to always work on this site, check the box for “Use Reader when available.”

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

Maze, J.R. (1981). Classical Female Oedipal Themes in To the Lighthouse. Int. R. Psycho-Anal., 8:155-170.

(1981). International Review of Psycho-Analysis, 8:155-170

Classical Female Oedipal Themes in To the Lighthouse

J. R. Maze


An application of Freud's theory of symbolism to Virginia Woolf's To the Lighthouse reveals the journey to the Lighthouse as a metaphor for dispelling the illusions with which Victorian morality surrounded sexuality and sanctified male supremacy. Besides this explicit theme the novel embodies hostility towards Mrs Ramsay as the 'benevolent' bearer of that alienation, and as the archaic mother suspected of inflicting genital damage upon her daughters. Lily Briscoe, a model for the author, finds Mrs Ramsay to be narcissistic and ungiving, and sets artistic and intellectual achievement at a higher level than Mrs Ramsay's mere procreativity; Mr Ramsay assists the adolescents towards a similar independence. Lily's

'grief' for Mrs Ramsay is spurious and conceals a reproach for the daughter's castration, reflected in Lily's problem of filling the 'awful space' in the centre of her painting. There are signs that Woolf herself could not quite master doubts of her own genital adequacy, or divest herself of the suspicion that her work was in part a fantasy substitute for childbearing—a regrettable legacy of her Victorian upbringing.

On this basis it is contended that Freudian drive psychology offers a richer explanation of the characters' motivation than is afforded by the modern concept of self-integration through merging.

[This is a summary or excerpt from the full text of the book or article. The full text of the document is available to subscribers.]

Copyright © 2020, Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing, ISSN 2472-6982 Customer Service | Help | FAQ | Download PEP Bibliography | Report a Data Error | About

WARNING! This text is printed for personal use. It is copyright to the journal in which it originally appeared. It is illegal to redistribute it in any form.