Howard's End Themes & Topics

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Howards End represented for Forster, in 1910, his conscious concern over shifting social values and the foreboding ugliness and confusion that, in his view, threatened the peace, beauty, and stability of the rural dominance of Edwardian England. Can the "gentlefolk" who occupy Howards End endure in the new twentieth century, or will they suffocate from the "red rust" on the horizon emanating from London? Thus, the principal theme of the novel focuses upon social and economic threats and social and economic classes. Margaret, Helen, and Tibby Schlegel—half English, half German; impulsive but imaginative—care about art, music, literature, and enlightening conversation. Henry, Paul, Charles, and Evie Wilcox clamor after money and business, distrusting and dodging emotion, ignoring imagination, and admiring only motherly innocence. Forster plants his thesis of contrasts directly at the head of the thirteenth of his forty-four chapters, when he gently and quietly asserts...

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This section contains 1,130 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Howard's End Study Guide
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Howard's End from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.