The Two-Dimensional Character
In the novel, To the Lighthouse, Virginia Woolf illustrates the character of Mr. Ramsay, a husband and father of eight children. As a husband, he degrades and mentally abuses his wife, Mrs. Ramsay, and as a father, he disparages and psychologically injures his children. Yet, Mr. Ramsay has another side -- a second dimension. He carries the traits of a very compassionate and loving husband and a securing and nurturing father. Although Woolf depicts Mr. Ramsay as crude, brusque, and insensitive, he, nonetheless, desires happiness and welfare for his family.
Even though Mr. Ramsay frequently scolds and denounces Mrs. Ramsay, he still seeks happiness and comfort for his wife. For example, after Mrs. Ramsay lies to James about the next day's weather, "He [Mr. Ramsay] stamped his foot on the stone step. 'Damn you,' he said." (31) Mr. Ramsay devastates his wife's emotions. Because of a little lie, the temperamental Mr. Ramsay ...