Matriarchal Conflict In Howards End By E. M. Forster

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The novel Howards End by E.M. Forster showcases many examples of strong female characters. Margaret and Helen Schlegal live on their own and take care of themselves. Then there is the character of Ruth Wilcox. Mrs. Wilcox is an important matriarchal force in the novel. Not only does she lead her family, she also is a great influence on the Schlegal girls. When she passes, a conflict arises over who will take over who will replace her. The ending of the novel resolves this conflict by elevating Margaret to this matriarchal position. The loss of the matriarch creates a void in the Wilcox’s life, in which they become victims of modernization; their morality is only restored when Margaret takes on the position of caring for the family and caring for Howards End.
The character of Ruth Wilcox demands respect, and is given respect and admiration by the people around her. She captivates the Schlegal girls. They first meet the Wilcox’s while vacationing in Germany, but they
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In his last act, Henry gives the house to Margaret. In this he gives her complete legal control of Howards End, which she will give to her nephew upon her death continuing the spiritual ownership of Howards End. With this resolution, the author establishes the importance of appreciating nature, and the family unit–the importance of not focusing on money and falling into the perils of modernity. The country is shown as the solace for an ever-growing modernized world, it is also shown as the only place with spirit or morals, as shown by the resolution at Howards End, and the personalities of Mrs. Schlegal and Margaret. Margaret’s becoming the matriarch steadies both Schlegal and Wilcox families. Her presence also restores the spirit to Howards End. Without these final resolutions, the characters and families would not have peace, and Mrs. Wilcox’s spirit, and her way of life, would not be carried

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