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'Forster's vision is essentially a nostalgic one, hankering hopelessly after a romantic version of the English rural past' Is this a fair comment?

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Joe Levy English Homework 'Forster's vision is essentially a nostalgic one, hankering hopelessly after a romantic version of the English rural past' Is this a fair comment? In 'Howards End' Forster attempts to make the distinction between rural, traditional England, and the more modern, industrial England. Forster explains the transition that England is going through, in becoming an up to date country, leaving behind all remnants of its traditional past. In Forster's opinion this is not a positive development, and in the novel reflects on the bitter contrast between city and rural life. Throughout the novel, Forster makes clear his opinions about England's rural past, and the path the country is taking in the future. In chapter X, Forster shows how London and its environment vary greatly from that of the countryside. Mrs. Wilcox is the symbol for Forster in the novel of the rural romantic countryside. Ruth is a character lives life at a leisurely rhythm, observing the 'periods of quiet that are essential to rue growth'. ...read more.


Forster's view is again apparent in chapter XXV when the story has moved on to the market town Oniton. Forster's narrative style reinforces his wish to cultivate larger perspectives in the reader. Forster explains the beauty of the town and is very much on the side of Margaret in conversation. In this chapter there is a parallel between what Forster is trying to get the reader to respond to and the way Henry and Margaret's consciousness operate on how they view the past and present. It is clear that Forster agrees with Margaret and strongly disagrees with Henry. Ultimately, Forster has a nice picture built in his mind about the rural past but it is wishful thinking to hope that everyone can be saved. For instance, Mr. Bast is a character that thinks he is a 'nobody'. Forster on the other hand views him as a character who is not self obsessed and although thinks about money, it is not about how much he has, its about how he can survive. ...read more.


Consequently he realizes that a lot of his life has been a wasted and declares that he will leave no money to his wife and to give a lot of it away to the less unfortunate. Forster is an optimistic writer who makes his strong opinions known, but at the same time states that this is not a flawless guide to how to live your life. It is clear that people can change, as shown through Henry, and that even the people who live their lives in the way he thinks is right, do not always survive, as shown through Leonard. The person who Forster uses to front his views, Mrs. Wilcox, also dies, but the key issue is that she is able to pass on her views and change the way people think about life. Unfortunately, in my opinion, the ending Forster chooses is not that plausible, and relies heavily on the reader assuming things. However, ultimately the ending is happy with Margaret and Henry ending up together, happy and changed for the better. ...read more.

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