A Room With a View

The Pension Bertolini: A Gateway to Defiance in 'A Room with a View' College

The beginning of the 20th century marked a key turning point in English history: the Victorian traditions and values of before were now being contended by the increasingly progressive thinking of the Edwardian Era. Yet, the wealthy classes of England still controlled what was perceived as normal in society, including proper gender and class constructs. E.M Forster, who was keenly aware of these issues, illustrates the struggle of going against the norm through the character of Lucy Honeychurch in his A Room with a View. Much of his motivation for writing this novel came from his vacation to Florence with his mom, in which he distinctly remembers his mom asking for a view over the river Arno at the hotel where they stayed (Penguin). When Lucy visits Florence and stays at a similar hotel, which Forster calls the “Pension Bertolini,” she too finds herself desiring a room with a view. Many of the English vacationers she meets at the hotel force on her their socially confining beliefs. But on the other hand, the beautiful, picturesque sights of Florence as well as the unique encounters she has there force her to question the values of the society that she is so accustomed to. While the Pension Bertolini embodies the social standards...

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