The disregard of a dying woman’s bequest, a girl’s attempt to help an impoverished clerk, and the marriage of an idealist and a materialist — all intersect at an estate called Howards End. The fate of this country home symbolizes the future of England in an exploration of social, economic, and philosophical trends during the post-Victorian era.
Rather than being a novel about characters and their individual fates, Howards End is like a mirror made of fractured pieces that show the truth about society in small details and in the lack of a full picture.
“The poor cannot always reach those whom they want to love, and they can hardly ever escape from those whom they love no longer. We rich can.”
If this is what you take away from it, you’ve not read the same book I did. No, my experience is closer to these two quotes:
“The poor are poor, and one’s sorry for them, but there it is.”
“There are just rich and poor, as there always have been and always will be.”
Aside from the monetary aspects, it’s always sad to read about a woman who sacrifices so much of herself for companionship and deludes herself to being in love. Yet, maybe the true tragedy lies not in the characters and their fate, but in the people who criticise Margaret for her choice and fail to see that women of today still marry their Mr Wilcoxes. Maybe the the most poignant of it is that they never ask why.