How we cite our quotes:
Why did we settle that their house would be all gables and wiggles, and their garden all gamboge-coloured paths? I believe simply because we associate them with expensive hotels--Mrs. Wilcox trailing in beautiful dresses down long corridors, Mr. Wilcox bullying porters, etc. We females are that unjust. (1.3)
Helen, writing to Margaret from Howards End, expresses from the beginning the association of Wilcoxes with money – with a kind of ostentatious wealth. Helen sidesteps the Schlegels' own odd standpoint, saying that "we females" are unjust; what she really should say is that wealthy liberals of their kind jump to conclusions.
"You and I and the Wilcoxes stand upon money as upon islands. It is so firm beneath our feet that we forget its very existence. It's only when we see someone near us tottering that we realize all that an independent income means. Last night, when we were talking up here round the fire, I began to think that the very soul of the world is economic, and that the lowest abyss is not the absence of love, but the absence of coin." (7.16)
Margaret, speaking frankly to Aunt Juley, acknowledges what her sister and their liberal friends never will – that, despite the idealistic talk of the equality of classes, they all rely upon money for their happiness.
"Oh, how one does maunder on, and to think, to think of the people who are really poor. How do they live? Not to move about the world would kill me." (13.7)
Margaret is again made painfully aware of her own wealth while pondering the move from Wickham Place – the Schlegels, for all of their big talk, still live a life of incredible privilege.