Mothers have huge responsibilities and as a whole, are the most imperative ingredient in a family. Mrs. Ramsay is no exception to this familiar theme. Mrs. Ramsay, being a caregiver, plays a vital role in peoples’ lives, especially James and Mr. Ramsay. Woolf intends for the reader to understand that women have the most essential responsibility in family life. Mr. Ramsay is stubborn, insecure, and insincere, yet Mrs. Ramsay does everything in her own power to care for and protect him. She allows Mr. Ramsay to float off in his own world and demand many things, yet she stays by his side and takes care of him.
Although she has many of her own problems and at times, questions if she should continue her own life path, she has never left his side even through her flirtatious ways. Mrs. Ramsay’s duty is to lessen Mr. Ramsay’s harassment, care for him, and make him look good in public. With Mrs. Ramsay being by his side, it also provides care to her children. She makes Mr. Ramsay’s bossy, cruel actions manageable for the Ramsay kids who have to live with his bullying. She loves Mr. Ramsay, loves her kids, and she also stands between Mr. Ramsay and his family to make sure that they can live together.
This is important because with her being the bond of the family and playing the most vital role in the family, she must keep a peaceful and balanced family life no matter how much her kids dislike their father. Mr. Ramsay parades around reciting poems and shouting at anyone, yet despite being very arrogant and loud, he is actually insecure. It falls to Mrs. Ramsay to protect those insecurities from others that may exploit them because that is what she feels her job is. In addition, she shows a love that some of the closest marriages do not even have in common. “Yes, you were right.
It’s going to be wet tomorrow. You won’t be able to go”(124). Although Mrs. Ramsay is only agreeing with her husband, it shows she is caring for him and loving him without saying it. Her minute show of affection and love through saying the smallest and most simple things are a way of protecting him from ever leaving his family. This is important because in a real atmosphere without Mrs. Ramsay, he might not be able to make it in public because of the people exploiting his insecurities and slandering his ways. Just by doing the average and seemingly unnecessary things, Mrs. Ramsay shows she is and forever will be the most essential part of the family even after her untimely death. James, being the youngest boy in the family, craves the most attention and care and Mrs. Ramsay is there for him. James is always complaining about going to the lighthouse and when Mr. Ramsay shuts his dream down, Mrs. Ramsay is there to pick him up. She always has James doing things to preoccupy him, whether cutting out of a catalogue or playing a game with him.
Mrs. Ramsay is always there to care for James, especially during his younger days when he could not go to the lighthouse. Perhaps you will wake up and find the sun shining and the birds singing. ” (15). Although Mrs. Ramsay does not say that they are definitely going to the lighthouse, she gives James hope and shows her caring for him. Mrs. Ramsay has a very strong filial relation with James, much closer than any other child. Another time when Mrs. Ramsay shows her care for James was with the boar head incident. One night, Mrs. Ramsay finds that Cam and James are still awake because Cam is scared of the head of a boar that is hanging on the wall, and James screams if someone tries to take it down.
To alleviate this problem of the boar’s head, Mrs. Ramsay covers the skull with her scarf, so that Cam cannot see it, but James will know the skull is still in the room. This makes a perfect balance of the two and James is now fine to go to sleep. Furthermore, after solving the problem, Mrs. Ramsay assures James that on the next day it is nice out they will go to the Lighthouse and everything will be fine. Although Mrs. Ramsay is not completely truthful, she is taking care of James and making him feel better. Mrs. Ramsay was the most caring family member of James and showed it many times with just everyday actions.
Although her actions contributed to pleasing herself because it would get James to stop whining or crying at night, it truly did help James and make him feel better. All mothers have a special connection with their children from the first day of birth and their husbands, whom they live their life with. Mrs. Ramsay cares for all the parts of her family, yet has special connections with James and Mr. Ramsay. The inextricably tough link that is between Mrs. Ramsay and her husband and James shows that she is the most essential part and caregiver of a family.