by E.M. Forster
Howards End Theme of Dissatisfaction
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
- Are any of the characters in Howards End truly satisfied?
- Is there any suggestion of an ideal life in the novel, or are all different modes of living equally problematic?
- Is dissatisfaction tied to financial instability?
Chew on This
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.