In Search of a House with a View: The conception of dwelling in E.M. Forster’s Howards End and Iris Murdoch’s The Sea, The Sea

Tereza Topolovská

Abstract


This article elaborates on the thematic connections between E.M. Forster’s 1910 Howards End and Iris Murdoch’s 1978 The Sea, The Sea, namely their poetic conception of dwelling. Besides echoing the major social and cultural concerns of their individual periods, these novels vigorously examine timeless issues as the nature of dwelling, the extent of the influence of a social class on the treatment of environmental issues. Both novels mirror the wide-ranging and longstanding debate that engages with diverse variables of the equation comprising technological progress, undisturbed nature and intensity of human involvement. The great variety of subject matter in both novels might easily have resulted in a melange of pompous moralising had they not featured two houses, namely Howards End and Shruff End, whose symbolism anchors the narration while adding to the thematic richness of both works. Operating both on metaphorical and literal levels, the houses in question provide a solid foundation for the analysis of the texts.


Keywords


Dwelling, E.M. Forster, Iris Murdoch, poetics of space

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7575/aiac.ijalel.v.5n.4p.189

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