Study Guide

Jacky Bast in Howards End

By E.M. Forster

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Jacky Bast

Poor Jacky. In the eyes of the other characters in the story, and in our eyes as the readers of the story, she doesn't amount to anything at all. Jacky is really just a symbol of all that's tragically wrong with the modern world – a woman destroyed by a male capitalist (Mr. Wilcox), destroyed by the unhealthy and disgusting city she lives in, and destroyed by her unfortunate social class. She's pathetic, stupid, and dull; basically, through no real fault of her own, she's ruined Leonard's life and her own. However, we can only feel bad for her, as Helen and Margaret do, because Forster implies that her fate was set in stone from the beginning – like all of the other characters here, she's a product of her class, time, and place.

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