A Room with a View
by E.M. Forster
Character Role Analysis
Mr. Beebe shows a distinct interest in cultivating Lucy’s character as an independent woman, whose exterior matches the passionate interior that shines through in her music. His apt comment, “If Miss Honeychurch ever takes to live as she plays, it will be very exciting both for us and for her,” relates this interest (3.5). One gets the feeling that Mr. Beebe is interested in Lucy the way a scientist might be interested in a particularly mysterious insect – he wants to know if she will undergo any metamorphosis, and wants to be around to witness it. Not that Mr. Beebe is only interested in Lucy scientifically; he’s definitely quite fond of her, and certainly has a kind of sympathy for her. For this reason, he attempts to edge her towards independence. However, his mentorship only lasts until she decides to marry George, since he was particularly attached to the idea of her remaining single after her breakup with Cecil.
Mr. Emerson picks up the Guide/Mentor role where Mr. Beebe leaves off. It is he who shepherds Lucy to the eventual conclusion of the book, and helps her access her true feelings. He is also the one who mysteriously enables her to “see the whole of everything at once,” and understand that adhering to the rules of society is a small and unimportant thing in relation to the grand scheme of things. He’s only in this role for a short period of time, but in it, he manages to accomplish more than anyone else does in the whole book.