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"Money - is the second most important thing in the world", Says Margaret on p. 134. To what extent do you feel your reading of Howards End has confirmed or undermined this view of the world Forster creates in his novel.

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Introduction

"Money - is the second most important thing in the world", Says Margaret on p. 134. To what extent do you feel your reading of Howards End has confirmed or undermined this view of the world Forster creates in his novel. Forster sets the novel in Edwardian times. This setting is one of great industrial and cultural advances that reflect greatly upon the characters in the novel. During the Edwardian period the first motorcar was developed for public use, there was a great divide between the upper classes and the lower and women did not yet have the right to vote. I will be exploring how money and other privileges affect characters behaviour. As well as describing how Forster's portrayal of these characters driven by money affects the novels story and readers perspective of how ones lifestyle was in Edwardian times. The Shlegel's and the Wilcox's both have very different views on life. Though from similar social status the Shlegel's are of German origin and are interested more by culture, whereas the Wilcox's are deeply involved in the world of business. ...read more.

Middle

The two meet rather awkwardly as Helen accidentally steals Mr. Bast's umbrella. Helen immediately takes an interest in Mr Bast as she realises he is not very well off but she see his desire for the arts. Helen does not seem to understand how strong willed Mr Bast is, as she tries to help his financial situation by giving him money. He is offended by this as he wants to make his way in life, but he wants to do it by himself. This is when Helen learns that money is not as important as happiness. It is clear from the way Helen and Margaret react to Mr Bast that the Shlegel's are committed to "personal relations". Helen's interest in Mr Bast soon turns into something more as she begins to really admire his desire to climb the social ladder. Even when the Shlegel's try to help Leonard by giving him money he returns the money out of principle showing that he does not want hand outs. ...read more.

Conclusion

families deceitful ways "Leavis, also cannot believe, in other words, that a sensitive, imaginative, cultivated woman like Margaret Schlegel could ever be attracted to an "obtuse, egotistic, unscrupulous, self-deceiving" businessman like Henry Wilcox." The material artefacts in Howards End have a great impact on the readers understanding of Edwardian times, as well as what portraying the two families interests. Motorcars represent class divides and the restless, money driven, modern civilization that the Wilcox's are involved in building. They are cut off from the natural world as they travel at abnormal speeds again giving the impression of the Wilcox's care for only one thing. They also are brutally unsympathetic when they kill a girl's pet cat and made no effort to comfort the child. The Schlegel's books and sword portray the powerful, expensive European culture that Leonard Bast aspires to but cannot reach. In the end, the interfering of the Shlegel's seems just as responsible for Leonard's unhappy fate as the Wilcox's lack of sympathy for Mr Bast throughout the novel, and the part the books and sword play in his death dramatizes this. ...read more.

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