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To the Lighthouse: William Bankes. Nathan Wong Nirupama Suneel IB English HL Period 6. Who is he?. Mr. Bankes is a botanist and a lonely , childless widow.

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to the lighthouse william bankes

To the Lighthouse:William Bankes

Nathan WongNirupamaSuneel

IB English HL Period 6

who is he
Who is he?
    • Mr. Bankes is a botanist and a lonely, childless widow.
      • “so that when he stood beside her now in his judicial way (he was old enough to be her father too, a botanist, a widower, smelling of soap, very scrupulous and clean) she just stood there” (12).
  • Bankes is described as a practical and sensible man.
    • “William Bankes (who was entirely free from all such vanity) laughed, and said he attached no importance to changes in fashion” (61).
relationship to mr ramsay
Relationship to Mr. Ramsay
  • “but it seemed to him as if their friendship had ceased, there, on that stretch of road. After that, Ramsay had married. After that, what with one thing and another, the pulp had gone out of their friendship” (14).
    • Bankes’ used to be close friends with Mr. Ramsay. However, they chose two different paths in life, which caused the cessation of their friendship. He urges Lily not to disparage Ramsay.
relationship to lily
Relationship to Lily
  • “I respect every atom; you are not vain; you are entirely impersonal; you are finer than Mr. Ramsay; you are the finest human being that I know; you have neither wife nor live for science...praise would be an insult to you; generous, pure-hearted, heroic man!” (15).
      • Lily and Bankes have a non-sexual friendship that transgresses the social norms. Their friendship transcends gender stereotypes and they view each other as equals.
likes and dislikes
Likes and Dislikes
    • As a result of not having taken the traditional route in life, Mr. Bankes has ended up without a family and taken a divergent road to the one Mr. Ramsay has taken.
    • “And Mr. Bankes felt aged and saddened and somehow put into the wrong by her about his friendship. He must have dried and shrunk” (14).
  • Bankes has an avid interest in politics.
    • “Mr. Bankes took Charles Tansley by the arm and went off to finish on the terrace the discussion they had begun at dinner about  politics...hearing a word or two about the policy of the Labour Party” (64).
  • Bankes values humility and sees potential in all people.
    • “We can’t all be Titians and we can’t all be Darwins, he said; at the same time he doubted whether you could have your Darwin and your Titian if it weren’t for humble people like ourselves” (42).
  • Bankes is progressive because he treats both men and women equally.
    • “Human relations were all like that, she thought, and the worst (if it had not been for Mr. Bankes) were between men and women” (53).
what he thinks of mr ramsay
What he Thinks of Mr. Ramsay
  • “he weighed Ramsay’s case, commiserated him, envied him, as if he had seen him divest himself of all those glories of isolation and would have been pleasant if Cam had stuck a flower in his coat or clambered in eruption” (14-15).
    • Bankes pities himself and describes his envy of Mr. Ramsay’s role as a family man. He wishes that he could have had children.
what he thinks of tansley
What he Thinks of Tansley
  • “He seemed to be rather cocksure, this young man; and his manners were bad. But Mr. Bankes bade himself observe, he had courage; he had ability; he was extremely well up in the facts” (54).
    • Bankes is open minded in his perception of Mr. Tansley, unlike many of the other characters. Although he admits that Tansley is arrogant and overly self confident, Bankes also notes that Tansley has potential.
what he thinks of mrs ramsay
What he Thinks of Mrs. Ramsay
  • “So that if it was her beauty merely that one thought of, on must remember the quivering thing, the living thing” (18).
  • Mr. Bankes finds Mrs. Ramsay extraordinarily beautiful. He admires not only her physical beauty, but also her unique characteristics as well.
images and symbols
Images and Symbols
    • “He had been to Amsterdam…he had seen the Rembrandts. He had been to Madrid…He had been to Rome. Had Miss Briscoe never been to Rome? Oh, she should – It would be a wonderful experience for her – the Sistine Chapel; Michael Angelo; and Padua, with its Giottos” (42).
    • Images and symbols of travel explain his adventurousness and cultural exposure.
  • “William Bankes remembered... By a hen, straddling her wings out in protection of a covey of little chicks” (13).
    • This is the defining moment when Bankes’ friendship with Ramsay ceases. Ramsay chooses to start a family which is symbolized by the hen and her chicks.