Characters Discussed (Cyclopedia of Literary Characters, Revised Third Edition)
Lucy Honeychurch, a young Englishwoman. As a traveler in Italy, she is disappointed that her room at the pension has no view. Unwillingly, she changes rooms with Mr. Emerson and his son, George, whom she regards as ill bred. For the rest of her stay abroad and back at home in England, she tries to stifle her attraction to George. Finally, she is led by Mr. Emerson to acknowledge her love for his son, and she starts to live the truth she has learned, by marrying him.
Mr. Emerson, an Englishman. Aware of Lucy Honeychurch’s love for his son George, he draws from her an admission of her love and inspires her to acknowledge and to live the truth she has learned.
George Emerson, Mr. Emerson’s son, who is in love with Lucy Honeychurch, whom he finally marries.
Charlotte Bartlett, Lucy Honeychurch’s cousin and chaperon in Italy.
The Reverend Arthur Beebe
The Reverend Arthur Beebe, Lucy Honeychurch’s friend and rector.
Cecil Vyse, Lucy Honeychurch’s fiancé. She breaks her engagement with him when George Emerson tells her of his love but before she has acknowledged, even to herself, her love for George.
Mrs. Honeychurch, Lucy Honeychurch’s mother.
(The entire section is 253 words.)
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The Miss Alans
Miss Theresa and Miss Catherine Alan are normally referred to as “the Miss Alans who stood for good breeding.” They are yet another example of what Lucy might become by following Charlotte. They have chosen independence but within the confines of society’s rules. They can remain single but they gain little in doing so. They are dull people who see the world as a book. They travel to read the great book and learn about life but they cannot live for themselves. They cannot be passionate living people. They must be staid, demure, and carry their guidebooks. They are part of the Army of Darkness.
Lucy is actually en route to join them when she confronts Mr. Emerson. At this moment, the Greek spirit, in the form of life with George, can be hers but she thinks she wants to study past Greek civilization. Fortunately, she chooses to live life now.
Cousin Charlotte is not as rich as Lucy and travels with monetary help from Lucy’s mother. In return for this help, Charlotte tries to impart her wisdom to Lucy by acting as chaperone. Instead, she comes off as a self-serving spinster who loves to play the role of “prematurely aged martyr.” Charlotte is also a prude, absurdly so. Charlotte successfully manipulates Lucy into a successful match with Cecil. When this proves obviously stifling to her protégé, Charlotte orchestrates an escape route in the form of independence and travel to...
(The entire section is 2534 words.)