Nigel Messenger's How to Study an E. M. Forster Novel PDF

By Nigel Messenger

ISBN-10: 0333491556

ISBN-13: 9780333491553

ISBN-10: 1349108510

ISBN-13: 9781349108510

Forster's novels have continually given nice excitement to the final reader yet they do current specific difficulties should you desire to learn them in a extra systematic manner. The elusiveness of Forster's irony, the complexity of his symbolism and the formal ambiguities in constitution which are this kind of marked characteristic in all his novels, make any research unusually demanding. during this publication, Nigel Messenger indicates you the way to set approximately this job.

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Extra resources for How to Study an E. M. Forster Novel

Example text

Forster's clear intention is to leave the meaning open so that we have to read responsively and draw conclusions for ourselves. Finally, I think it is worthwhile reminding ourselves that Philip is on his way to Italy. The ending of this first chapter strikes a warning note. Frustrations in Sawston may merely be a prefiguration of more serious frustrations in Monteriano. I'm going to move on now and look at quite a long passage describing Philip's first meeting with Gino in Chapter 2: Signor Carella, heartened by the spaghetti and the throatrasping wine, attempted to talk, and looking politely towards Philip, said, 'England is a great country.

Philip's horror speaks volumes about Edwardian class snobbery and the relatively low status of dentists at the time, but, of course, there's more to it than this. There's been a rude insertion of the real world into Philip's academic and exclusively aesthetic fantasy of Italy and Italian life. I don't think it is necessary to know who or what the Etruscan League, the Pax Romana, Alaric and the Countess Matilda are, to get the point. Philip's Italy is 'fairy land'. His sheltered life has given him no insight into the painful complexities behind the academic books and the beautiful pictures.

As some of Forster's friends thought at the time, it is difficult to envisage a future for the lovers as outlaws in the 'greenwood' outside society. It seems an evasion of the issues that the text proposes to confront. The 'real' Maurice is a bourgeois stockbroker, as appalled as Clive is by his sexual 'fall' with a gamekeeper. The truth is that Maurice never really ceases to see his sexuality as a crippling disability, acceptable only when chaste and redeemed by sentimental poetry. The ending of the novel suggests that Forster feels the same.

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How to Study an E. M. Forster Novel by Nigel Messenger


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