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Forster's examination of contemporaneous issues pervades the novel in multifarious layers - What is your response to this statement?
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By: E.M. Forster
Forster's examination of contemporaneous issues pervades the novel in multifarious layers. What is your response to this statement?
Howards End is E.M. Forster's symbolic exploration of the social, economic, and philosophical conditions in Edwardian culture. Written in 1910, at a time when Britain's industrial ascendancy was dwindling, and Germany's expansion filling the vacuum, socio-politico Anglo-German relations were particularly volatile, culminating in the Entente Cordiale in 1904. Although Howards End is a "fin de siecle" novel it lacks the European rational elucidation found in similar novels at the time, like Thomas Mann's "The White Mountain". Thus, Forster set out to address the question critic Lionel Trilling posed, "Who shall inherit England?"1
With reference to the above question , Forster explores the milieu of three dissimilar groups in society, each of which epitomizes a particular social class-consciousness: the literary, cultural Schlegel family, who symbolize the idealistic and intellectual aspect of the upper classes; the materialistic, pragmatic Wilcox family, who embody the "unyielding" English work ethic, bourgeoisie, and conventional social morality; and the impoverished Bast family, headed by a lower-middle-class insurance clerk who earnestly believes books, such
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