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A Few Words on A Room With A View by E.M. Forster

March 7, 2011
A Room With A View

A Room With A View by E.M. Forster

A Room with a View by E.M. Forster is a sweet coming of age love story.  It features fascinating characters and brilliant language. Forster writes a beautiful tale of a young woman who goes through the foibles involved with finding and realizing true love.  It is a short story that is quite reminiscent of a Jane Austen novel.  It is a young woman’s journey beyond childhood, set first in the streets of Florence and later in countryside of England.  Miss Honeychurch, the protagonist, travels to Italy under the supervision of her elder cousin Miss Bartlett and there adventures ensue that bring her together with a host of fascinating characters.

Forster creates very full and amusing characters, from the overbearing Miss Bartlett to the rebellious elder Mr. Emerson.  Each character is unique and has their own set of beliefs and are well developed in this short novel.  The Emersons are a father and son whom Forster takes deep care in creating.  They hold beliefs very different from all of the other characters and the elder Mr. Emerson is often very philosophical.

Forster himself is often philosophical in his approach within the book.  His narrative style is one that leads the reader to think of both the beauty and nature of things.

“The kingdom of music is not the kingdom of this world; it will accept those whom breeding and intellect and culture have alike rejected.”

He attacks passion in a philosophical manner as well.

“Passion should believe itself irresistible.  It should forget civility and consideration and all the other curses of a refined nature.  Above all, it should never ask for leave where there is a right of way.”

The imagery in this book was written masterfully and the scenes of the city of Florence and the English countryside come alive as the book is read.  Forster’s descriptions are vivid and detailed. Sometimes the most simplistic actions are described in beautiful detail.

“There is at times a magic in identity of position; it is one of things that have suggested to us eternal comradeship.”

The most important aspects of this book were Forster’s remarks on love.  Some of the best quotes within A Room with A View come from discussion on love and though not always positive in the moment are beautifully put.

“Love, felt and returned, love which our bodies exact and our hearts have transfigured, love which is the most real thing that we shall ever meet reappeared now as the world’s enemy, and she must stifle it.”

“It isn’t possible to love and to part.  You will wish that it was.  You can transmute love, ignore it, muddle it, but you can never pull it out of you.”

Overall, A Room with a View is a charming story of youth, travel, and love.  It is a short novel and worth the read, as the language is beautiful and the characters witty.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. March 10, 2011 3:40 am

    I read half of this some time back but never finished it. I must try to find a new copy to finish it (was reading an ecopy on a program on my phone that just didn’t work well for reading).

    • March 10, 2011 6:10 am

      You can find this on Project Gutenberg … my favorite site for digging up good classics if you have a decent ereader now … they have options for every type (including just reading straight off your computer … I do that if it’s a short story and I’m at work and bored).

      Here’s where you can find A Room With a View:

  2. September 26, 2015 5:41 am

    You read this as part of your “challenge” as the 19th Century classic, yet this is not a 19th Century book. Early 20th Century, and a classic of its early modernist period. Great book.

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