Howards End discussion at BookBalloon begins June 11

June Reading Club

Howards End by E. M. Forster

“If one were to ask what Howards End is about, the answers would probably be as varied as if one were to ask what the Fifth Symphony is about. The novel is about the Schlegel sisters, young ladies of independent means and cultivated taste. Of them it might be said: “the imaginative life is distinguished by the greater clearness of its perception, and the greater purity and freedom of its emotion.” It is about the Wilcoxes, men of business with plenty of money and not much independence or taste. Of them it might be said: “do we not feel that the average business man would be in every way a more admirable, more respectable being if his imaginative life were not so squalid and incoherent?” It is even about Leonard Bast, the clerk with one foot on the slippery first rung of the middle-class ladder, who is a displaced yeoman and so another version of the decline of the yeoman class as symbolized in the dying out of Mrs. Wilcox’s family, the Howards.

“From the point of view of plot, the novel is about the attempt to connect the two main families through the marriage of Margaret Schlegel and Henry Wilcox and so unite the practical competence, the expertise, and the immense energy of the Wilcoxes with the thoughtfulness, the self-analysis, and the culture of the Schlegels. Like the marriage itself, the attempt to connect the outer and the inner life moves toward ruin when it is intersected by another plot which has as its center the one-night love affair of Helen Schlegel and Leonard Bast. This plot culminates in a violent crisis and brings all the characters together in a final confrontation at Howards End.” — George H. Thompson, The Fiction of E. M. Forster

Discussion begins June 11. Registration is free. Come join us!

via BookBalloon Home.

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