From 11:00PM PDT on Friday, July 1 until 5:00AM PDT on Saturday, July 2, the Shmoop engineering elves will be making tweaks and improvements to the site. That means Shmoop will be unavailable for use during that time. Thanks for your patience!
We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
Howards End

Howards End


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

  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.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...