A Room With A View
By E.M. Forster
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A Room With A View by E.M. Forster ranked # 79 on The Modern Library's Top 100 Novels list as selected by its Board Members.
A Room with a View is a novel about a young woman in the sexually repressed culture of early 20th-century England, written by English writer E. M. Forster. When Lucy Honeychurch travels to Italy with her cousin, she meets George Emerson, a bohemian and an atheist who falls in love with her. Upon her return to England, she is forced to choose between free-spirited Emerson and her less emotional fiancé, Cecil Vyse. The story is a romance and a critique of English society at the beginning of the 20th century. Merchant-Ivory produced an award-winning film adaptation in 1985.
The main themes of this novel include oppressed-sexuality, growing up and true love. It is written in the third person omniscient, though often particular passsages are "through the eyes" of a particular character.
A Room with a View is Forster's most romantic, optimistic book and is typical of his writings. He utilises many of his techniques including contrast between "round" and "flat characters". Round characters are characters whose ideas and inner-self develop or change in the plot, whereas flat characters remain constant, offering familiarity and often are a source of humour.
Published in 1908, the novel touches upon many of the issues surrounding society and politics in the early 20th century Edwardian culture. A stark difference between conservative and radical thinking is observed as well as Forster's own differentiation between Medieval (Mr. Beebe, Miss Bartlett, Cecil Vyse) and Renaissance characters (Lucy, the Emersons).
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