Study Guide

A Room with a View Part 2, Chapter 17

By E.M. Forster

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Part 2, Chapter 17

  • This chapter details the somewhat awkward breakup of Lucy and Cecil. Surprisingly, Cecil takes it well. So well, in fact, that Lucy is irritated.
  • Lucy allows herself to get upset, and, seeking an argument, attacks Cecil’s attitude and opinions directly. At this last desperate moment, he actually feels something real and legitimate for Lucy – but it’s too late.
  • Lucy repeats George’s anti-Cecil argument to Cecil himself, almost word for word. He is awestruck.
  • Cecil finally realizes that his approach to Lucy and to women in general has been wrong all along. He apologizes for the wrongs he’s done to her, then says that it’s as though a new voice is speaking through her tonight. He’s actually right – it’s George’s voice.
  • Lucy is hyper-sensitive to this fact, and she immediately thinks he’s accusing her of finding another man. She jumps down Cecil’s throat and he apologizes. They calm down as much as possible and part civilly, even tenderly.
  • Lucy, watching Cecil walk away, swears never to marry. The narrator ominously comments that Lucy has joined the ranks of those who deny themselves their true feelings…like Charlotte Bartlett.

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