Howards End

Family Ties and Nineteenth Century England

E.M. Forester's Howards End illustrates the social interaction between economic classes present in nineteenth century England. Forester's novel focuses specifically on England's middle class on several varying levels: the upper middle class, which is further categorized into two groups, those of new money and those of old money, and the lower middle class. Forester embodies each of these social factions through one of the novel's three major families, the Schlegals, Wilcoxes and Basts. Throughout the novel, Forester shows that each family, despite profession and monetary worth, deserves a stake in the future of England, which is metaphorically represented by the Wilcox's country home, Howards End. Forester, through characterization, relationships, and social connections, uses these three families to convey his own views towards the path nineteenth century English society should follow en route to economic and society prosperity and which social grouping stands to ultimately inherit England.

Margaret and Helen Schlegal represent old English traditions and money. Given their annual six hundred pound inheritance, it is unnecessary for either sister to work. This void of employment leaves the sisters time to...

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