by E.M. Forster
Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory
The idea of "home" is a major, major problem here. For the most part, our characters are uprooted and drifting – whether by choice or not. For some, like Henry Wilcox, houses have no sentimental value, and are just seen as investments to be turned into more money, while for others, like Leonard, urban poverty makes having a real home an impossible dream (we get the feeling that if Leonard's family had just stayed in the countryside, this might not be true – see "City versus Country" below). Home is the biggest problem for Margaret, though; she longs desperately for a house to call her own, and to feel truly connected to, and once the Schlegels are turned out of Wickham Place, she feels at a loss.
The only stable place any of the characters – or we, the readers, for that matter – can call home is Mrs. Wilcox's house, Howards End. After all, there's a reason the book is named after this remarkable place – it's the spiritual center of the England presented here, and it seems like Margaret's fate to finally inherit it in the end.