Forster's tone is often an odd juxtaposition of highfalutin and quirkily humorous, with very little middle ground in between. Howards End is no exception; its tone alternates between the quite-serious and the quite-silly. Forster manages to express the dire philosophical and social troubles he's trying to communicate here, while all the while maintaining a healthy sense of humor. This makes for a novel that is both difficult and delightful by turns. It manages to encompass a weighty sense of the social troubles at stake, while still maintaining an oddly conversational, almost familial intimacy.