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Howards End

Howards End

by E.M. Forster

Dissatisfaction Theme

Nothing is more frustrating than seeing your own limitations and knowing that you can't get past them – and that's exactly what happens to some of the characters in Howards End. Dissatisfaction is a product of many social factors here – class, gender, profession, among other things – and as a result, all of the characters are dissatisfied in some way. The modern world that Forster depicts, with its changing social norms and political conflicts, makes for a whole lot of unresolved personal troubles…some of which can never really be resolved, no matter how hard our characters try.

Questions About Dissatisfaction

  1. Are any of the characters in Howards End truly satisfied?
  2. Is there any suggestion of an ideal life in the novel, or are all different modes of living equally problematic?
  3. Is dissatisfaction tied to financial instability?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

Dissatisfaction, in the world depicted in Howards End, is an inevitable condition of modern life.

In the capital-dominated, highly economized social world of Forster's novel, money is the only condition upon which happiness is based.

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