What is the significance of the epigraph "only connect"? Also, how does that connect to Tom Howard?
Howards End is really a story about the social, economic and philosophical forces that were at work during this time in England. It was right after WWI and people were so focused on what they could get and what status they were in.
Margaret Schlegel is the main protagonist in the novel. She is the sister to Helen and Tibby and eventually becomes the wife of Henry Wilcox. She is twenty nine years old and living in London in the early years of the 20th century. She cares very much about personal relations. She wants people to overlook "class" and just treat each other with dignity. She is quoted throughout the book as saying "only connect". She longs for people to be able to reach out to each other. She wants people to truly communicate with each other and look beyond the superficial barriers, such as class and gender. She believes it is a philosophical answer to the behavior of people. There needs to be a human connection with no boundaries of prejudice. If people would only connect with each other, then the world would be such a better place. This is the way Margaret thinks and believes. She is a remarkable character.
If everyone would truly reach out and connect with each other, then things would be so much better. In this way of thinking, we need to overlook anything we consider as not worthy, and just treat each other with the respect and dignity we all deserve.