Howards End is the most optimistics expression of Forster's unique vision. Discuss.

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I think that the notion of what exactly is Forster's "unique vision" needs to be clarified.  Outside of this, I do believe that there is a great deal of optimism in Forster's work.  There is a rejection of the class system that is embedded in England. The fact that Howard's End was left to someone of a considerably lower class as well as the fact that it is going to be left to Helen's illegitimate son are reflections of how the stifling class system are coming to an end.  At the same time, there is a level of connection between divergent forces in the novel.  The practicality of the Wilcoxes, bordering on scheming, as well as the intellectual nature of the Schlegels merge at the end of the novel.  Even the death of Leonard Bast results in some type of unity in terms of seeing justice being exacted against the boorish Charles Wilcox.  These help to provide a sense of redemption and optimism in a condition where so many, like Leonard, are crushed underneath its weight.  There is some level of optimism here in that hope can be found amidst a setting where so many narratives of sadness are present.  The Forster vision of "connection" in which an author seeks to connect with the audience and one in which there is a great deal of connection between themes and characterizations are realized in Howard's End.  Perhaps, this contributes to an optimistic expression of Forster's unique vision, whatever that could be seen to be.


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