Howards End Questions and Answers
by E. M. Forster

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How is the theme of connection portrayed in Howards End?

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The theme of "connection" could easily be used to understand the kinds of hypocritical behaviors exhibited by characters in the novel. Hypocrisy is sometimes a result of having a lack of empathy for others; usually it means judging someone else's behavior in a negative way while remaining unaware of one's own (similar) behavior. The revelation of such hypocrisy can, in some cases, be a way of showing that, far from being morally superior to another, we are all connected by human experiences that unite us in society. This dilemma is at the heart of the social system portrayed in Forster's novels where the leisure classes and working classes are at odds. By portraying the ways that people of divergent social classes are connected in dramatic and sometimes intimate ways, Forster creates rather biting commentary on the difficulties of these social norms.

To use a specific example, Helen's attraction to Leonard Bast occurs when she runs into him repeatedly, after her sister Margaret's...

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