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Edward Morgan Forster was an English novelist, short story writer, essayist, and a librettist. His novels, remarkable for their irony and superb plotting, sough to address class diversity as well as pretense in the British society of the 20th century. Forster was the only child born to an Anglo-Irish and Welsh middle-class family. After the death of his father while he was at a tender age, Forster lived with his mother and aunties and inherited £8,000 from one of his paternal great-aunt (David Bradshaw, 2007). Forster then lived on this inheritance and used part of it to develop his writing career.
He joined King's College, Cambridge, and became a member of the Apostles, a discussion society, which later made up the Bloomsbury Group in which he was a peripheral member. Following the completion of his university education, Forster together with his mother travelled across continental Europe visiting Egypt, Germany, and India. It is during the course of this travel that he published most of his novels including Howards End which was published in 1910. The novel tells a story of class struggle within the England society of the 20th century in the sense of a symbolic exploration of the social, economic as well as philosophical forces that existed in the society at the time.
England, at the time was experiencing immense social changes while it was at the pinnacle of its imperial world influence. In this regard Forster sought to address the critic query of which social class would characterize the nation. As such, the novel explores the lives of three diverse groups of people representing a particular social class. To facilitate a clear exploration of the lives of these divergent groups, Foster entwines the stories of these groups while setting the groups in close proximity of each other. The main theme that Forster addresses in the novel is connection (Sparknotes, 2011).
Foster addresses this theme by analyzing its application in light of its existence in private and public life, individuals, and exploring the difficulty encountered in creating and sustaining connection in the same aspects of human life. The theme is addressed by exploring the Schlegels family and the Wilcoxes family. In this exploration the Schlegels family is presented as intellectual, imaginative, and idealistic while the later is presented as expressing the English practicality, expansionism, commercialism, as well as the peripheral world of business and politics.
In analyzing connection between these families in respect to the different values they represent a difference is witnessed in regards to the way they express connection. In the case of the Schlegels family, connection is expressed through personal relationships in which case they precede public ones while an individual is viewed as more important than any organization. On the contrary the Wilcoxes family expresses connection in a different way as public relationships seem to precede personal ones while an organization is perceived more important than an individual.
This gives the impression that the society at the time had divergent perceptions are regards connection which were influenced by class diversity. Class diversity in the society was influential in shaping ones perception of the society and this is expressed in the way it influenced connection. In view of the Wilcoxes family as representing the world of business and politics, the novel seeks to express how connection was expressed by the influential in the society (Sparknotes, 2011).
The analysis made in the novel expresses the political and business aristocrats as to regard connection in an organizational and public form. This is based on the fact that they are presented as to regard public relations more while upholding organizations as compared to individuals. This is largely influenced by the fact that their positions and status are largely dependant on public and organizational influence. In this respect, the political and business aristocrats tend to highly considered public and organizational connection as far more important than personal and individual connection.
The hypocrisy present in this expression of the political and business aristocrats is the fact that connection to them only involves the prominent in the society. This is based on the fact that they themselves are the prominent within the society and want to keep the status quo. As such, they highly regard personal and individual connection with the prominent in the society but seem to regard public and organizational connection as far more important only to facilitate their position in the society.
In the case of the Schlegels family, connection is highly expressed through personal relationships with high regards of an individual as compared to an organization. This is viewed in the sense that being in the middle or lower class of the society the individuals build strong relationships with one another as the share similar situations. As such, connections to this group is more in a personal and individual form as this is the basis upon which most of their interaction is made. However, hypocrisy and irony are presented in this in the sense that these individuals rely on public and organizational influence to change the situations that they face.
This is in the sense that in improving their standards of living these individuals rely greatly on public and organizational connection. The argument is that through public and organizational connection the individuals are in a position of greatly influence changes to their standards as compared to when they are on individual basis. In this regard it is ironical and hypocritical the way these different classes expressed their perception of connection in the aim of creating an image that does not exist.