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Howards End: Book Review

Uploaded by Admin on Apr 26, 2000

Howards End by E. M. Forster deals with the conflict of class distinctions and human relationships. The quintessence of the main theme of this lovely novel is: "Only connect!…Only connect the prose and passion…and human love will be seen at its height. Live in fragments no longer." This excerpt represents the main idea that Forster carries through the book: relationships, not social status, are--or at least should be--the most important thing for people.

Howards End was written in 1910. That explains the naivete and idealism that permeate the atmosphere of the novel. Written in the beginning of the twentieth century in England about the beginning of the twentieth century in England it reflects the mood that existed in England at that time. It was a time of prosperity. The industrial revolution that started in the previous century made the British Empire a world power. Everyone had a job and the conditions for the workers significantly improved as compared to the past century. Trade unions that never existed before had just begun to form to protect the rights of the working people, and poor children didn't have to work in mines anymore. A bloody and seemingly meaningless war hadn't yet begun to destroy bodies and devastate souls of people. Generally speaking, the times were good, and the future was viewed in an optimistic way. The atmosphere of the book is filled with romance and hope, even though the author is very far from writing an utopian type of description of English society.

In fact, the book is very truthful in the description of class problems of the country. In Howards End Forster talks about two classes and two ideologies that are separated by the thick wall of social prejudices and misunderstandings. The two social groups are represented by the cultured, idealistic Schlegels and the pragmatic, business-oriented Wilcoxes. The Schlegel Sisters, who aren't 'pure' English, but people of German origin, personify Forster's dream about what people's philosophy of life should be. They used to think about the class differences as obstacles that do not allow people to fully understand each other. The hope is that if everybody thinks that way, people will just forget about class differences--that's what Forster's dream is. Margaret and Helen Schlegels partly think this way because being part of minority group in England they have experienced discrimination caused by class prejudices. However, they reject splitting society into different social groups...

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Uploaded by:   Admin

Date:   04/26/2000

Category:   Book Reviews

Length:   6 pages (1,280 words)

Views:   1816

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