To the Lighthouse Characters

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Andrew the Just

See Andrew Ramsay

William Bankes

William Bankes is an old botanist friend of Mr. Ramsay's who has come to stay at the Ramsay home. The years since the two first became friends have changed both men, and Bankes is jealous and resentful of Mr. Ramsay. Mrs. Ramsay senses Bankes's loneliness and wants to pair him off with Lily Briscoe.

Bankes is a childless widower, and tries to assuage his envy of the Ramsay household by suggesting that his old friend's philosophical work is secondhand and past its prime. He is, however, drawn to Mrs. Ramsay's beauty and the warm domesticity of the Ramsays' lives. Rejected by little Cam, he hides his loneliness by denigrating marriage and children to Lily. Lily, on the other hand, realizes that he is isolated and that he carries a torch for Mrs. Ramsay.

Bankes is intellectually open, willing to understand and...

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This section contains 2,583 words
(approx. 7 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the To the Lighthouse Study Guide
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To the Lighthouse from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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