Study Guide

Mr. Emerson in A Room with a View

By E.M. Forster

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Mr. Emerson

Mr. Emerson, a middle-class retired journalist of a lower social rank than the Honeychurches, is the most honest and direct character in the novel – and sadly, he’s the least popular. Not with us, mind you… no, we at Shmoop are quite fond of old Mr. E. So are his son George, Mr. Beebe, and Lucy. Mrs. Honeychurch thinks he’s okay, too. Unfortunately, everyone else really doesn’t like him. With his unconventional ideas and opinionated mannerisms, Mr. Emerson just rubs polite society the wrong way. His refusal to bow down to organized religion, as well his belief in the equality of women and the Power of Love (cue Huey Lewis and the News song – not Celine Dion!) may not seem so out of place to us contemporary readers, but at the time, his views were really challenging and original. We get the feeling that his ideas are the closest to that of the author; despite his comical and occasionally rather silly nature, Mr. Emerson doesn’t get the super-satirical treatment from Forster that a lot of his other older characters do (especially Mr. Eager, Charlotte, and Miss Lavish).

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