Howards End review Õ 3

E.M. Forster µ 3 review

Howards End review Õ 3 ´ Howards End is a novel by E M Forster about social conventions codes of conduct and relationships in turn of the century England A strong willed and intelligent woman refuses to allow the pretensions of her husband's smug English family to ruin her life Howards End is considered by some to be Forster's masterpieceBand's smug English family to ruin her life Howards End is considered by some to be Forster's masterpiece. This novel from 1910 has a lovely Shakespearean flavor of good intentions leading to unintended conseuences Urgent letters between sisters kicks off its engaging plot about the collision between two very different families The younger sister Helen Schlegel visiting the rural “Howard’s End” estate of the conservative wealthy Wilcox family writes to Margaret that she is love with and wants to marry one of their sons Paul which grew out of a single impulsive kiss Margaret urges her aunt to travel there to make sure the Wilcoxes are “their kind of people” By the time she arrives Helen has already fallen out with Paul who is headed for Nigeria to manage the family’s rubber plantation Later when the Wilcoxes move near the Schlegels in London and Margaret tries to make amends by reaching out to the mother Ruth Wilcox I loved experiencing how their brief friendship blossomed over discussions of the meaning of a home and the value she places in the family homestead of Howard’s End which her husband Henry considers only in light of its real estate value Early in the plot Ruth dies and the discovery by Henry of a handwritten beueathment of the estate to Margaret leads to the Wilcox family deciding to ignore the reuest Already we see how Helen’s impulse toward romance with Paul has the unintended conseuence of a special friendship of Margaret with Ruth and a hidden act of generosity It has also brought Margaret into contact with the widower Henry and a surprising romance between opposites she an early feminist who admires literature and arts and supports programs for the poor and he a pragmatic industrialist who is a true believer in the genetic superiority of his class The other unintended conseuence comes when Helen mistakenly takes the umbrella of Leonard Bast after a theater performance When he drops by to retrieve it the sisters kindly draw him out and find they admire his ambitions to imbibe literature and work his way up in class from his lowly position as a bank clerk His dreamy account of tuning into nature by tramps in the woods a la Ruskin makes them admire him than bumbling life probably deserves Margaret presses Henry for advice to help him better his circumstances which turns out to be disastrous for Leonard and his wife when they follow through with his recommendation This fate turns Helen even against the Wilcoxes and makes for a serious wedge in her relationship with Margaret There is tragedy in the tale but all key characters make a satisfactory transformation toward becoming better empathetic human beings despite the boundaries of class I liked this even better than “Passage to India” I absolutely loved Margaret’s outlook and continual efforts to build bridges Her charm for me euals that of Woolf’s indomitable Mrs Dalloway Immediately after the delightful read by LibriVox audiobook I had the great pleasure of experiencing Emma Thompson nail the role in the sumptious Merchant Ivory production Helena Bonham Carter rendered a great adaptation for the flighty idealistic Helen

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Howards End is a novel by E M Forster about social conventions codes of conduct and relationships in turn. The title refers to a British country home not a mansion like a Downton Abbey but a small comfortable home with charm Although it seems that the story is set at about the same time as Downton Abbey The story revolves around two sisters who on separate visits fall in love with the home and in a very round about way end up living in it The main there of the book is British class structure The two sisters are ‘liberal’ using modern terminology They attend meetings of progressive women’s groups where one of them gives a presentation and shocks her audience by arguing that such groups need to help the poor not by giving them free libraries museums and concerts but by giving them money A kind of introduction by Lionel Trilling on the back cover tells us that “Howard’s End is about England’s fate It is a story of the class warthe plot is about the rights of property about a destroyed will and testament and rightful and wrongful heirs It asks the uestion who shall inherit England’ “Both sisters are aging their parents have died and they are ‘heading into spinsterhood’ However the older one marries and she marries the owner of Howards End who is a Darwinist His attitude to be concise is I’m paraphrasing “there will always be poor; nothing we can do; they are not like us; if you give them money they’ll just blow it because they’re re too stupid to know what to do with it” And this is a uote “The poor are poor and one’s sorry for them but there it is As civilization moves forward the shoe is bound to pinch in places and it’s absurd to think that anyone is responsible personally” The sisters are not wealthy but they are comfortable from an inheritance and they hang out in upper class society So this is a second theme the sisters have an inherent cultured grace that comes from being part of the aristocracy “the instinctive wisdom that the past can alone bestow had descended upon her – that wisdom to which we give the clumsy name of aristocracy” A married struggling poor young man that the sisters take under their wing is trying to improve himself and become cultured by reading But he eventually realizes that “he could never follow them not if he read for ten hours a day Some are born cultured; the rest had better go in for whatever comes easy” “We stand upon money as upon islands It is so firm beneath our feet that we forget its very existence” money there’s no nourishment in it You pass it to the lower classes and they pass it back to you and this you call ‘social intercourse’ or ‘mutual endeavor’ when it’s mutual priggishness”There’s not a lot of plot other than that of the older sister coming around to marry the wealthy older man and after they are married she struggles to get his family to accept her And both sisters get involved with helping the poor young man but ‘the road to hell’ The younger sister gets involved with him and a person ends up getting killed manslaughter Another theme of the book or appropriately motto is ‘only connect’ The sisters are good at it; the wealthy aristocrat is a disaster There is good writing Some passages I likedOn the poor young man looking ill at ease in his best clothes “She wondered whether it paid to give up the glory of

review Howards End

Howards EndOf the century England A strong willed and intelligent woman refuses to allow the pretensions of her hus. 35 stars A place as well as a person may catch the glow Don't you see that all this leads to comfort in the end It is part of the battle against sameness Differences eternal differences planted by God in a single family so that there may always be colour; sorrow perhaps but colour in the daily greyHowards End is the second book in my endeavor to re read all of EM Forster’s major novels Having read five of these in my late teens I decided that it would be fun to approach them with years wisdom and appreciation for literature on my side Well I don’t necessarily claim much in the way of wisdom in fact I sure felt a lot ‘smarter’ back in the day so perhaps experience would be a better word In any case my first book on the list – A Room with a View – proved to be a marvelous success I had high hopes for Howards End The result Well I will say that I am still a great admirer of Forster’s vision and brilliance I adored this in theory than in the execution perhaps If I could boil down this piece to those passages I highlighted – and there were loads of them – then this would have been five stars without a doubt If I could have removed some of the superfluous philosophizing that sometimes left me literally closing my eyes from time to time then this would be sitting on my favorites shelf I wanted to love this Instead I appreciated it and ultimately liked itThere is so much one could say about the themes in this book There is of course the overlying theme ‘to connect’ This word ‘connect’ appears repeatedly throughout Forster introduces us to the Schlegels a very comfortable perhaps middle class family They appreciate art literature and discussion much like us dear Goodreaders One can’t help but become attached to them – in particular the two sisters Margaret and Helen Oh how I would love to sit down with them and have an intelligent conversation about books music and women's rights Their lives become decisively intertwined with the Wilcox family representing the wealthy conservative and less imaginative set they avoided the personal note in life All Wilcoxes did It did not seem to them of supreme importance The Schlegel’s desire to connect with one and all further entangles them with the impoverished Basts in particular Leonard Bast an intelligent young man who aspires to than what his lower class would readily allow He felt that he was being done good to and that if he kept on with Ruskin and the ueen's Hall Concerts and some pictures by Watts he would one day push his head out of the grey waters and see the universe The three families clearly illustrate the distinct differences in the social classes existing within pre World War I England Is it possible to cross these social boundaries The Schlegels would like to think so and in fact strive to do just that Their efforts are always endearing occasionally comical and sometimes disastrous At the heart of this novel too is Howards End the house one of the Wilcox’s family homes Howards End is where Ruth Wilcox was born To her the house has a spirit Her husband and children do not feel the same affinity to the house as she But Margaret Schlegel with whom she strikes up a friendship understands places and homes Howards End takes on a life of its own unt