English Literature Assessment Lucy Honeychurch and Stevens are two characters who represent the emotional repression of English society. Basing your answer on A Room With A View by E.M Forster and The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ish

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English Literature Assessment – “Lucy Honeychurch and Stevens are two characters who represent the emotional repression of English society.” Basing your answer on A Room With A View by E.M Forster and The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro

Both authors use a number of techniques to portray the theme of emotional repression consistently throughout their books. This is established instantly in both opening chapters and the representation of the suppressive characters his kept constantly flowing throughout the novels. E.M. Forster's character of Lucy Honeychurch in A Room with a View develops from a submissive, innocent young girl, to an independent, passionate woman. Through Lucy Honeychurch and the Emerson’s, Forster endorses his own personal views and values. Kazuo Ishiguro’s Stevens, the protagonist and narrator of The Remains of the Day, also progresses emotionally throughout the book. Although perhaps not as drastically as Lucy Honeychurch, which makes the novel more realistic and alas easier to relate to.

Edwardian England was an era of severe social boundaries especially within the upper classes. It was almost unacceptable to participate in friendly conversation or “banter” with another individual they did not been yet acquainted with. It was known to be considerably rude if a stranger joins in uninvited to a private conversation. Therefore during the first chapter of Room With A View, when Mr Emerson interrupts Lucy and Miss Bartlett’s “peevish wrangling” and declares “I have a view, I have a view.” This clearly causes Miss Bartlett much offence and consternation, and the entire room of the “better class of tourist” were too, stunned by Mr Emerson’s apparent lack of manners. Yet he is utterly ignorant of the anxiety he is causing her and does not intend to offend neither Lucy nor Miss Bartlett and simply thinks that the room with a view deserves to be taken by the ones who most take most pleasure in it. Although Mr. Emerson is referring to the view from his room’s window, this is one of Forster’s methods of symbolism. Views in a room represent their own perceptive of the world.  They recur throughout the novel.  The theme of “views” is immensely important when it comes to recognising the personality and quality of characters in both novels. Some have their own strong personal views on life, such as Mr. Emerson and George, and some that don’t, such as Cecil. 

The strict social conventions of England are explored in Room With A View and is full of shrewd social commentary on the severity of the expected standards. When Miss Bartlett shows vast concerns about undertaking a room trade with the kind but outcast Emersons, present day readers may be staggered by her and the higher class resident’s reactions. But the fact is that Miss Bartlett is repressing what she truly wants under social pressures. For Miss Bartlett, and many other upper-class Edwardians, rules and principles are to be followed in accordance with what they consider to be valued concerns. "A scene," is to be avoided at all costs. Throughout the novel, Forster uses a variety of methods to force readers to trace back to the start to realize that every single character is reserved due to society’s requirements, and are merely acting as expected of them, and not necessarily as they truly wish to do. At the end of the novel George explains to Lucy how Miss Bartlett’s interference was the driving force behind their love. “That from the moment we met, she hoped, far down in her mind that we should be like this of course, very far down.  That she fought us on the surface, and yet she hoped . . . Look how she kept me alive in you all summer, how she gave you no peace” Though, she did attempt to keep George and Lucy apart by once by rushing Lucy off to Rome, and preventing them from being together in Italy as much as possible, I think deep down, Miss Bartlett wished for George and Lucy to end up together, and her love for Lucy is more powerful than her sense of respectability. But the social order has kept her prisoner to her own desires.  Cecil is also a portrayal of emotional repression and inflicts this trend on Lucy. He is a defining example of class snobbery, which is a constant feature in A Room with a View. Cecil looks down on the more radical views of the Renaissance and the lower class characters. Forster uses symbolism of crossing over barriers as one of his ways of showing this.  In the ninth chapter Lucy, Cecil, and Mrs. Honeychurch consider fences, which signify the social obstacles of that time.  Cecil comments that there are “immoveable barriers” between him and the lower class. Lucy later considers that whereas it isn’t possible to disregard social barriers, “you can jump over them” Tennis is also a metaphor for this. Forster uses symbolism for the ball crossing over the net. Cecil “does not play tennis at least, not in public” whilst in comparison, George does.

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Another important theme in the exploration of Edwardian society is when Lucy asks about the delicate and the beautiful. Lucy deliberates delicacy and beauty being two different things, while Miss Bartlett considers them to be the same. Her world classifies beauty and delicacy to be no different, and that beauty is established in politeness, dignified and subtle discussion with little expressions of real emotion. Therefore, Miss Bartlett and the rest of the medieval, repressed minded upper class see no beauty in Mr Emerson and his offer of the room swap. And although Lucy is naïve and hardly highly academic, she ...

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