Volume 10, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1874-8767
  • E-ISSN: 1874-8775
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While critics commenting on usually focus on Mrs Ramsay, Lily and gender questions, this article traces the ways in which the mother-son relationship between Mrs Ramsay and James reflect the processes Christopher Bollas distinguishes as a child learns to use objects to develop his own personal idiom. These processes can be further nuanced by using Lacan’s three registers of the Real, the Imaginary and the Symbolic, which, stressing the rhythmical, iconic and verbal aspects of language respectively, each yield distinct object uses. First, James learns to deal with affects, then with emotions and finally with values, thus developing a grammar of interiority. This leads him to his final epiphany of the Lighthouse, linchpin of the three registers, which reveals his idea of self, reconciling paternal and maternal aspects of his internal objects.


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