Study Guide

A Room with a View Part 2, Chapter 20

By E.M. Forster

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Part 2, Chapter 20

  • The sisters Alan end up going on their Greek adventure, but without Lucy. Instead of following them there, the narrator takes us back to Italy – in fact, back to the good old Pension Bertolini. They’re even in the same room with a view that Lucy took over from Mr. Emerson.
  • George and Lucy talk lovingly about nothing as Lucy darns her new husband’s sock. They are obviously very, very happy.
  • George blissfully ponders the events that have brought them to this point, mostly accomplished by his father and Lucy. He even thinks of the people who didn’t mean to help, but sort of did, like Miss Lavish, Charlotte, and Cecil.
  • A letter from Freddy has arrived; we learn that he and Mrs. Honeychurch are very upset with the newlyweds who, as Freddy calls it dramatically, “eloped” without consent. Windy Corner is still upset, despite the fact that everyone knew it was coming. This is the only thing that keeps Lucy’s happiness from being complete. Apparently choosing true love and personal happiness has had some consequences – alienation from the society she grew up in.
  • Lucy is sure that Freddy will come to his senses, but she worries about Cecil; apparently, her marriage made him incredibly cynical (with some good cause) about women. His gentle and respectful phase was apparently short-lived.
  • Mr. Beebe is done with Lucy and George, having done everything he can with them. He doesn’t seem to be angry – rather, he has just lost interest.
  • A carriage driver hailing them from outside the window reminds Lucy of the photograph vendor who helped her out with Charlotte and Mr. Eager all those months ago. She thinks about how close she came to succumbing to her cousin’s fate, aging and lonely. She comments on how if Charlotte had known Mr. Emerson was in the Rectory on that last day, she would have sent Lucy away, and this may never have come to pass.
  • George, however, has a different idea. His father told him that he knew Miss Bartlett had seen him – she just didn’t say anything to Lucy. This leads George, who’s now something of an optimist, to believe that Charlotte consciously didn’t warn Lucy about Mr. Emerson’s presence. Could it be that Charlotte actually hoped that Lucy and George would end up together?
  • With this mystery unsolved, we leave Lucy and George: isolated from society, but happy with each other.

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