The message of Howards End is wrapped up in Margaret's mantra, "Only connect." What, you may ask, does this really mean? It's simple: love. This novel is all about love – all kinds of love: love between siblings, love between husbands and wives, love between kindred spirits, love of home, love for one's country…basically, love for anything and everything. Love may not be all you need (money's pretty important, too – check out another theme, "Wealth"), but it's pretty darn important. The fear that humans don't love each other enough anymore is pressing here, and the novel challenges us to try and love others and ourselves more.
Though the idea of love is a central theoretical concept in Howards End, the novel is largely concerned with its failures, rather than successes.
At the novel's end, the transcendent nature of love (and its capability for forgiveness) presents the only ray of hope for a changing England.