A Room with a View
How we cite our quotes:
“We know that we come from the winds, and that we shall return to them; that all life is perhaps a knot, a tangle, a blemish in the eternal smoothness. But why should this make us unhappy? Let us rather love one another, and work and rejoice” (2.45).
This unconventional and irreligious view, voiced by Mr. Emerson, poses a challenge to the stuffy Protestant ethic of the society Forster describes. In Mr. Emerson’s view of spirituality and the world, love between human beings is what matters more than anything else.
"Leave them alone," Mr. Emerson begged the chaplain, of whom he stood in no awe. "Do we find happiness so often that we should turn it off the box when it happens to sit there? To be driven by lovers—A king might envy us, and if we part them it's more like sacrilege than anything I know" (6.12).
Poor Mr. Emerson. He’s a real romantic in a crowd of cynics; he alone really believes wholeheartedly in the value of love and happiness above social propriety.
George had turned at the sound of her arrival. For a moment he contemplated her, as one who had fallen out of heaven. He saw radiant joy in her face, he saw the flowers beat against her dress in blue waves. The bushes above them closed. He stepped quickly forward and kissed her (6.39).
This is an incredible moment of authentic and spontaneous human feeling – one of the few we actually see in the novel. In a world that is so heavily dependent on artificial social structures, it’s refreshing and shocking to see George act according to his heart, not his head.