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I.W.'s picture

Breaking the Rules

I had serious problems getting into Howard’s End.  For me it has always been critical for me to identify with some aspect of a novel to really like it.  The only reason I actually read to the end of the novel was because I had to for this class.  Furthermore I couldn’t find any of the characters to be actually believable as human beings.  There was seemingly no reason for Mr. Wilcox to suddenly fall in love with Margaret, a women who is so completely unlike his wife who just died. Then Margaret suddenly changes from this totally self-sufficient woman who has radical ideas to this docile little housewife in a traditional old money household.  Characters have to have some sort of realistic motivation, but none of Forster’s do. 

         I can’t think of any books that remind me of Howard’s End.  I mean I have read other book written about the same time period, but nothing that reminds me of Forster’s style or lack there of.  While the themes were complex, I felt there was so much lacking in the actual writing of the novel that it just doesn’t matter what the book was actually about. 

         The one thing I did relate it to somewhat was contrasting it with the theory of evolution.  Forster displays a world so different from the one we have been learning about in class.  His world is fixed and solid with definite rules and boundaries.  I find that makes it even less believable for me because I know that is not the way the world works.  When people step outside of the boundaries bookshelves don’t fall and kill them, they go on living their lives.  Rules are made to be broken, a fact that Forster seems determine to ignore. 

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