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A Room with a View

A Room with a View


by E.M. Forster

A Room with a View Part 1, Chapter 6 Summary

  • A young and bold Italian, playfully referred to as Phaeton (a character in Greek mythology famous for stealing the Sun’s carriage and crashing it into the ground – not such a promising reference), drives one of two carriages full of our English tourists to their destination, a place in the country called Fiesole. He persuades his passengers to let him bring his “sister”… who’s clearly not his sister. We hope.
  • The party, which we know from the last chapter was going to be a little too exciting, is made even more exciting by the addition of George and Mr. Emerson, who Mr. Beebe invited without asking Mr. Eager. Tension is in the air. Mr. Eager is not a happy camper.
  • Lucy looks calm and beautiful on the outside, but on the inside she’s still nervous. The proximity to George brings back all of her confusion from before, and she’s worried about what could happen. She still doesn’t fully understand what happened between them on the day of the murder, and has the feeling that George doesn’t, either.
  • In the meanwhile, Mr. Eager and Miss Lavish struggle for control of the conversation in their carriage, first about tourists, then about the artwork of Alessio Baldovinetti.
  • Phaeton and his “sister” start getting frisky up in the front of the carriage. Said carriage gets faster and faster, and its occupants get increasingly uncomfortable. It’s discovered that the driver and his lady friend are smooching – unacceptable! The whole procession has to stop so the boy can be scolded. There’s a big to-do about what should be done. Miss Lavish and Mr. Emerson argue that the young lovers should be left alone; Mr. Eager is all upset and wants to leave the girl by the roadside; Mr. Beebe, kind soul that he is, thinks they’ll behave after this warning; and Lucy stays out of it. It’s decided that the girl will go in the second carriage.
  • Mr. Emerson can’t believe that the couple has been separated. Despite the fact that he and Miss Lavish share the same opinion, they argue – and of course Mr. Eager joins in.
  • Fortunately, the party arrives at their destination. As promised, there is a view. It’s nice.
  • The group divides. Lucy goes off with Miss Lavish and Charlotte, who start making fun of the Emersons. Lucy interrupts, saying that the Emersons wouldn’t care that they were being mocked, even if they knew.
  • Miss Lavish intentionally tries to make Lucy leave, and Charlotte (possibly intentionally) succeeds in making Lucy leave by turning on the martyrdom.
  • Fleeing the older women and hoping not to run into the Emersons, Lucy goes in search of Mr. Beebe and Mr. Eager. Her bad Italian inhibits her from really communicating with the carriage driver, but she tries anyway, hoping that he can direct her to the clergymen. They go off on a nice walk, at the end of which, Lucy finds not the reverends… but George Emerson.
  • Lucy and George are both transfixed by the beauty of the scene – they’re in a gorgeous field of violets. Oh, the romance! Oh, Italy!
  • George is inspired by the moment, by Lucy, by the violets – AND HE KISSES HER!
  • Lucy is, as we are, totally flabbergasted. Before she can process the kiss, though, Charlotte appears, calling her name.

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