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A Room with a View- E.M. Forster

 
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Posted August 14, 2016 by

A Room with a View – E.M. Forster – 1908

Reviewed by: Chris Green 

RoomwviewE.M. Forster’s portrait of a young woman’s coming to terms with her love and her own intellect amid an oppressive Edwardian social atmosphere is surely one of the great 20th century classics.

It is the story of a young woman trying to cope with newfound desires and passions, all the while attempting to locate herself within a social system in which she will always remain nebulous. She is restricted by the inhibitive conventions of her culture from following her desires, and in responding to these conventions she convinces herself that such illusive values are really hers too.

It is a stirring novel which conveys the sadness and hopelessness of social convention. A story so filled with the angst of “keeping up with appearances” that the reader cannot help but see that the very norms of behavior that the characters strive to uphold are the very facets of their lives which make them the most miserable.

I believe this novel can be seen as Forster’s metaphoric projection of where England was headed in 1910 (when it was published). The old guard, wallowing in traditions which no longer fit, fighting bitterly for stasis against those who would defy convention; yet in the end, unconventionality winning the heart of one most oppressed and separated from her true emotions.

In all a beautiful novel, and in my mind Forster’s best.

A Room with a View
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