[EPUB] (A Room with a View)

  • Paperback
  • 256
  • A Room with a View
  • E.M. Forster
  • English
  • 10 October 2019
  • 9780679724766

E.M. Forster ✓ 0 characters

characters A Room with a View characters A Room with a View 100 But you do he went on not waiting for contradiction You love the boy body and soul plainly directly as he loves you and no other word expresses it Lucy has her rigid middle class life mapped out for her until she visits Florence with her uptight. There is a great line in A Room with a View about a book that has been abandoned in a garden The garden was deserted except for a red book which lay sunning itself upon the gravel path The author then describes what the main characters are doing in various locations adjacent to the garden but meanwhile the red book is allowed to be caressed all the morning by the sun and to raise its covers slightly as though to acknowledge the caress The description of the book seems very innocent but the reader s attention is immediately caught What is the significance of this book within a book we wonder and why does it have a red coverAs it turns out the immediate purpose of the red covered book on that sunny English morning is to move the story along uickly and dramatically The red book causes certain things to happen that wouldn t otherwise have happened as if it were in fact a character in the novel with a voice of its own The plot is really very neat and makes for an entertaining read The backdrops Forster uses for the action are interesting too the shifting class structure and the new ideas on religion and politics which were emerging in England in the last decades of the nineteenth century But my favorite aspect of this beautiful novel is Art Even when everything else is in flux Art is a constant and reliable reference which Forster returns to again and againThe first half of A Room with a View takes place in Florence The characters meet and avoid each other in a number of locations throughout the city at the Santa Croce church adorned with frescos by Giotto in the Piazza Della Signoria where Michaelangelo s David stares across at Benvenuto Cellini s bloody Medusa under the Loggia dei Lanzi at the San Miniato church its beautiful facade visible from the very room of the title Practically every scene in the Italian half of the book features some work of art or another directly or indirectly When the characters take a trip into the hills landscape artists are recalled When they view Giotto s frescos their different reactions mirror their approaches to life and living Forster continually uses the adjectives michaelangelesue and leonardesue to describe the opposing facets of the characters Once I began to notice that pattern I recorded it in the status updates but there were examples than I ve listed there All of this is by way of explaining that Forster creates a juxtaposition of two modes of being in this novel the cool and sedate versus the sublimely passionate as if he himself is involved in some balancing act between sedate predictable prose and wildly unpredictable romanticism between his own rational leonardesue ualities and his michaelangelesue tendencies between the English half of the novel and the Italian half Two of the characters are symbols of those two extremes Lucy Honeychurch s entourage especially her cousin Charlotte Bartlett would like to keep Lucy on the side of the sedate George Emerson and his father would like Lucy to step over into their own dynamic world I was reminded of Virginia Woolf s Night and Day which offers similar contrasts and challenges and a similarly nuanced resolution I was unsure about what destiny Forster actually wanted for his main characters According to the introduction he wrote two different outcomes though only one exists today However in the end it is as if the characters resolve the situation for themselves Charlotte Bartlett emerges as a curious and unlikely deus ex machina and the title of the innocent looking book sunning itself in the English garden turns out to be Under a Loggia nicely connecting the two halves of the novel and helping to resolve the dilemmas of the characters I ve chosen two images that I think illustrate Forster s adjectives leonardesue and michaelangelesue Leonardo s Annunciation in the Uffizi Gallery Florenceand one of Michelangelo s unfinished imprisoned slaves now in the Academia Gallery FlorenceFor some further thoughts on how Forster merges his story with the art of Florence see my review of The Autobiography of Benvenuto Cellini I read both Forster s and Cellini s books while visiting the Tuscan capital last month and found interesting parallels between them

characters A Room with a View

A Room with a View

characters A Room with a View characters A Room with a View 100 And most of all his passionate son GeorgeLucy finds herself torn between the intensity of life in Italy and the repressed morals of Edwardian England personified in her terminally dull fiancé Cecil Vyse Will she ever learn to follow her own hear. She knew that the intruder was ill bred even before she glanced at him Charlotte BartlettI was reminded of this an old favourite of mine when a Goodreads review of the book by Apatt had me instantly searching bookshelves for my own battered copyE M Forster writes in a way that would seem archaic now natch but the same codes of conduct and social divisions still apply in our modern ageIn pre WWI England travel to sunny Euro destinations was largely the province of the Edwardian upper classesRebel in waiting Lucy Honeychurch takes the Grand Tour to Florence chaperoned by her snobby Aunt Charlotte whose manners get in the way of good common senseUptight spinster Auntie Bartlett attempts to counterbalance the nothingness of her frigid life by looking down her nose at people who possess far better ualities than sheForster does a great job of lampooning the superciliousness and the haughtiness of an old money Brit abroad something that he a man from a privileged background himself observed at very close uarters His deadpan wit is recognisably reminiscent of Oscar Wilde s and should even have the modern reader LOLing out loud

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characters A Room with a View characters A Room with a View 100 Cousin Charlotte and finds her neatly ordered existence thrown off balance Her eyes are opened by the unconventional characters she meets at the Pension Bertolini flamboyant romantic novelist Eleanor Lavish the Cockney Signora curious Mr Emerson. Edwardian era propriety meets Italian passion with entertaining results in EM Forster s sunny slight but ever so charming comedy of manners Well known from the sumptuous Merchant Ivory adaptation which I rewatched immediately after finishing the book the novel tells the story of Lucy Honeychurch a proper English girl who while on vacation in Florence with her cousinchaperone Miss Bartlett meets George Emerson a handsome but odd philosophical soul who s travelling with his eccentric truth telling fatherAll four are staying at the Pension Bertolini and the others they meet there the lady novelist Eleanor Lavish the two older unmarried sisters dubbed the Miss Alans and someone from Lucy s village the very accommodating Reverend Arthur Beebe will cross paths with them later in unexpected ways As in the other books by him I ve read Forster s narration is delightfully genial He ll remind us for instance that we haven t really spent much time with a particular character tell us that we know about Lucy s actions than she does herself hint at plot developments to come and generally treat his characters with a satiric gently chiding tone At times that tone can seem trivial midway through the book I felt it was all just so much upper middle class flim flam More uibbles George s physical treatment of Lucy especially in light of today s sensitivity around consent seems less romantic than troubling And I know we re meant to be at a remove from the authentic Italians in the first half of the book but I wish we got than just clich s about tempestuous murderers and horny carriage driversBut there is so much to enjoy in the book the tart dialogue the grand themes of love country vs city life fate and coincidence there s even a comment on the idea of novels and writers themselves Lucy s mother a fine comic creation has a preposterous attitude towards female writers that I m sure Forster a friend and admirer of Virginia Woolf s for one didn t share I also like that the book s stuffiest character Lucy s fianc the pretentious aesthete Cecil Vyse a whole review could be written on the book s beautifully suggestive names comes across with his dignity intact in his later scenesIf anything of the main players only the character of George seems the thinnest which is perhaps why he s given some intriguing actions in the film otherwise he might be a cipher And I like how a significant scene near the end makes us reflect on the nature and motivation of Charlotte But above all I ll remember this book for its knowing glimpse into the life of a girl discovering her voice freedom and strength even in a restrictive society It s suggested early in the book that Lucy a pianist plays Beethoven in a way that is surprising if she could apply that same passion to her life it would be uite thrilling to watch By the end of the book we see her begin to do that and yes it s uite something