Study Guide

Howards End Chapter 10

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Chapter 10

  • After several days, Margaret worries that she and Mrs. Wilcox will never become close friends.
  • Then, just as Margaret is despairing, Mrs. Wilcox asks her to go Christmas shopping.
  • The two of them drive around all day, looking for Christmas presents. Margaret describes a typical Schlegel family Christmas, and mentions in passing that they'll be moving soon.
  • Apparently, the Schlegels will be forced to move out of Wickham Place in a few years, when their lease is up, despite the fact that they've lived there their whole lives.
  • Mrs. Wilcox chats with an acquaintance as Margaret efficiently helps her pick out some new Christmas cards.
  • As they return to their carriage, Mrs. Wilcox brings up the house again – she's clearly troubled by the fact that the Schlegels are going to be turned out. It emerges that the Wickham Place house is going to be demolished to make room for new flats; if Howards End were ever pulled down, Mrs. Wilcox would freak out. She gets carried away and asks Margaret to come to Howards End with her right then.
  • Margaret makes an excuse, and they return to Wickham Place – clearly, no was not the right answer. The atmosphere is decidedly awkward. Mrs. Wilcox attempts to make small talk, but now Margaret feels upset, too. They drive home in uncomfortable silence.
  • Back at Wickham Place, Margaret feels awful. How come she didn't say yes when Mrs. Wilcox asked her to come to Howards End?
  • Tibby, contrarily, sees that his sister is feeling quiet, so he feels like talking all of a sudden. He jabbers on and on, while Margaret agonizes about her missed opportunity to see the famous Howards End. As soon as lunch is over, she goes across the street, but finds that Mrs. Wilcox has left for the night.
  • She goes to the train station to see if she can find Mrs. Wilcox – as she's buying a ticket to Hilton to find Howards End, the two friends find each other, and it's decided that they'll go spend the night at the house.
  • As they're about to leave, though, they run into two unexpected arrivals – Evie and Mr. Wilcox are back early from their driving trip in Yorkshire, due to a car crash. The trip to Howards End is postponed.

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