Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Reading: Howards End

This little video reveals the whole story, so you might not want to watch the entire clip!

I started reading E.M. Forster's Howards End a while back, and now I'm finally down to the last few pages. For me, it wasn't quite as compelling as A Room With a View, but I still enjoyed it and found the idealistic and intelligent Schlegel sisters quite brilliant and unique. I would love to live in a cozy little house and always have people dropping by to talk about Love, Truth, Beauty, and Freedom (ummmm, maybe that part's not quite exactly in the novel). 

I love books that encourage believing in and pursuing a world of magic that is beyond everyday humdrum existence. Of course, the Schlegels are wealthy enough to always have one foot in the world of culture and bohemian ideals - they need not worry about food, housing, and basic survival...unlike their new friend Leonard Bast.

Leonard goes walking at night. He yearns for more than his everyday existence provides. Not money, but nourishment for his soul. He wants to feel alive, to feel fulfilled, to feel something bigger than him.

The Schlegel sisters are idealistic and give themselves wholeheartedly to a world of beautiful ideas. At least at the beginning. They connect with Leonard despite their vastly different socioeconomic status because of Ideas and Dreams and Humanity...but Leonard slips away and cannot stay in their world because he must find a way to just survive.

I think E.M. Forster really really wanted everyone, including women and people who are not at all close to rich, to have access to a splendid world. To feel welcome. To dream and to see more - because doing repetitive work, coming home to eat bread, and sleep...it's not enough for anyone and everybody deserves more than this. Everyone is born with a soul longing for Love, Truth, Beauty, and Freedom.

I know idealism isn't exactly fashionable right now. Being cynical and ironic seems to be the height of sophistication. I think I can never outgrow or outrun my idealistic nature so I'm embracing it and not hiding the fact that I too long for something more.

Walking at night, under the glorious moon...you cannot help but feel that the world is far more magical than the office at work misleads you to think...

1 comment:

  1. I barely remember this book, but I do remember I liked it, and the film as well. Right now I'm reading Thomas Hardy's The Woodlanders (for class), and it excellent so far.