“Howards End” by Edward Morgan Foster
“Howards End” by Edward Morgan Foster is an outstanding novel deservedly awarded with numerous prizes and given number 38 among the Best English-language novels. It is the story uniting several not stories, but destinies. The plot of the novel is quite complicated looks like a complex web of people, their beliefs, ideas and relations. Though the lines of the plot seem to be tightly connected to each other, there are still lots of things and people to be connected together, as watched from the reader’s point of view.
I believe the first and the most important thing in the novel that refers to the phrase “only connect” is time. The whole plot is based on the discrepancies between people and the time they live in. For instance, Ruth Wilcox cannot catch up with the hectic epoch of the early 20th century. Her conservative mind and character live and die in the past. She is the one who values traditions and her old house more than anything and refuses to take a new reality.
The second thing that needs to be “only connected” is people. The stories of people who happen to be in wrong places in wrong time and with wrong people can be seen through all the storyline of the novel. The reader cannot but mentions how Helen and Leonard Bast fit together, how similar their characters are, but the fate constantly separates them, until the moment when Leonard happens to be in the wrongest place in the wrongest moment and gets killed.
One more connection, I wish would be set in the novel, is the connection of generations. This prehistoric problem of the generations’ gap is the core idea of the novel. If it never existed and the relations between the generations of the charters were based on mutual respect and understanding, the story would not be so tragic and complicated for them. (Forster, 1992)
Edward Morgan Forster, Howards End, Penguin Books, 1992, p. 271.