E. M. Forster Writing Styles in A Room with a View

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Leitmotif

A term that literary criticism borrows from music describes the technical repetition of key phrases or ideas in association with persons or places. The device can also assume larger proportions when, for example, an action is repeated with different portents. Forster employs leitmotif throughout his novels.

Swimming and violets are George's simple signifiers. The device becomes more intricate with Lucy. She employs music as her leitmotif. Lucy's playing affords an opportunity for other people to glimpse her real personality. The pieces she chooses to play have far reaching effects. Beethoven means something different from Schuman. Lucy's inability to play Wagner signals the novel's larger comedic struggle. The piece she cannot play comes from Wagner's operatic adaptation of the Holy Grail legend. Forster's novel is full of references to the tale and these references are leitmotifs.

Place becomes a leitmotif governing the novel's structure. Italy, at both the beginning...

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This section contains 982 words
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