Friday, September 19, 2008

Y13: Some notes from your own presentations on Howards End


Setting in Howards End
Talk about the wilcoxes should live were the schleagels do and vice versa because there both in the worng place for them
The houses in the novel are characters also, talk about the title of the novel, wickham place what it represents and howards end. Basts basement flat representing him at the bottom of society.
The opera scence or the concert , the setting means more to bast than some of the other characters because it keeps him from feeling like hes slipping into the abyss. The scene also very important for establishing character similarities and differences.
Forster based howards end on his previous childhood home, the rooks nest in Hertfordshire. Background research.
Suburbia is forsters Wessex, talk about how he doesn’t desribe the area between two main houses. Urban sprawl at the time.
Howards end and ruth wilcoxes relationship too it, the others are like an extension built onto an old property.

Symbolism within the setting of Howards End


London
London is symbolised by the modern pieces of technology which seem more associated with the Wilcoxes than the Schlegels, the most obvious example is the motor cars which the Wilcoxes own. These vehicles are symbolising the hectic lifestyles which London offers to its inhabitants. Another portrayal of London which the motor car offers is the chaos of London’s streets and the chaotic lifestyles most of its inhabitants lead. For example on page 181 Charles Wilcox hits a cat, which leads to a chaotic incident where Margaret jumps out of the car, and the men are left to deal with the lady whose cat it was. Although the car is not set in London this maybe symbolising the expansion of the cities and the chaos which it will bring with it to the peaceful countryside.
Wickham place
Wickham place is the house in which the schlegel family live. This house is set in london, however the house seems to be a symbol or a reminder of what London was, and seems to be a symbol for the culture, politics and values which are lost in this modern business orientated London in which the house is now surrounded by.
Forster describes the (page 8)house as ‘a backwater, or rather of an estuary.’ Symbolising the house as an estuary demonstrates how the house fits in with its surroundings. Although in the centre its far enough away from the hustle and bustle. Which gives the impression that the houses is an island of culture within a sea of misplaced values.
Kings cross page10 – 11
Although not a significant setting, and only used very briefly within the novel. The symbolism used to represent kings cross is very interesting. Forster symbolises it as a gateway to ‘infinity’. This is suggested seeing as kings cross is a place where all destinations can be reached by, which gives it a sense of mystery. Kings cross in itself may also be seen as a symbol for expansion. This can be assumed as much of the journeys which we are able to follow on the trains, seem to depict modernisation and expansion. For example Aunt juleys trip to get Helen never really seems to leave suburbia, as she sees ‘advertisements of anti billious bills’, and althugh her journey does ‘ span untroubled meadows and the dreamy flow of Tewin water’ she never seems to be within it.
Howards end
The wilcoxes house along with the schlegels is a symbol for a culture which has been lost, and is now surrounded by alien surroundings due to the expansion which has taken place in the nineteenth century and which is carrying on through the twentieth century. The house is a symbol of Pagan/ country lifestyle which in most parts, has been forgotten. One of the main symbols of this is the wych elm tree which has pigs teeth forced into it. The most significant point of this, is the fact most of the family do not even realise these teeth exist, which insinuates that the house is now just a relic and is inhabited by those who no longer understand it with exception to Ruth Wilcox.
Hilton
Hilton like Kings Cross is a peculiar setting, because very little happens yet the symbolism is extremely important due to the way it describes the changing society of the period. The narration reads of hilton “ the station like the scenery…struck an indeterminate note. Into which country will it lead, England or Suburbia? This gives the impression that like Kings cross it is a gateway into the unknown. For many parts Hilton appears to be rural due to the slated houses and its tombs of soldiers, however its rural charm is quickly lost due to its including of a subway and island platforms.
This seems to symbolise the fact that hilton was and tries to remain rural however it has been encroached upon by the city. It has become a victim of modernisation in order to thrive once again.
Oninton
Is a different symbol to many of the other places, because in other incidents, it’s the house which is significant however in this case to Margaret (that is) she finds it insignificant. The setting is rural and seems to be a symbol for the romantic train of thought which Margaret enjoys, however she does not seem to quite fit in to this group. The setting (page185) talks about “the river…still holding the mists upon its banks.” And the lower hills thrilled Margaret with poetry. It seems that very few places actually inspire people in this way throughout the novel which seems to bring up the ongoing idea of a dying breed or it is becoming nothing more than a faded memory. Oninton seems to be a symbol also for traditionalism and this is represented when druids are seen on the drive. Druids are supposedly friends of the trees and are also supposed to be spiritually connected with nature. This therefore gives oniton a symbol of lost society because due to expansion many villages in the so called suburbiua would have once had these beliefs, such as Hilton and this seems to be a symbol on a larger scale of Howards End.


Michael Levenson notes, Howards End is a novel "not of three classes, but of three households." Throughout the novel, each of the three families is defined by their relationships to their physical living spaces. These differing relationships are, in fact, shown to be in conflict in the novel, and this conflict is resolved only uneasily by the novel's end.
This therefore is representing the idea that the houses are in fact important symbols for the characters and the households are in conflict as they symbolise different ideas
Only Ruth Wilcox seems to get on well with Margaret as Ruth is the original owner of Howards end and H.E and W.P are similar in what they symbolise all that is different is that those who inhabit them have different values.

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