A Room with a View


E. M. Forster

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Themes and Colors
Society, Manners, and Changing Social Norms Theme Icon
Sexism and Women’s Roles Theme Icon
Honesty Theme Icon
Education and Independence Theme Icon
Love Theme Icon
Beauty Theme Icon
LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in A Room with a View, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work.

Society, Manners, and Changing Social Norms

The novel takes place at a transformative and transitional moment in British society, as the strict social manners, class hierarchy, and codes of behavior typical of the Victorian period give way to the greater freedom and liberality of modernity in the 20th century. This results in numerous tensions between new and old ways of thinking and doing things, evident in the contrast between young and old characters. Lucy, for example, has very different ideas…

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Sexism and Women’s Roles

Throughout the novel, many of Lucy’s experiences are dictated and limited by the fact that she is a woman. The novel takes place at a time when women had few rights and opportunities outside of the home, and rarely stepped outside of traditional, prescribed roles like that of a dutiful wife or mother, but also at a time when people were starting to speak up for greater gender equality and women’s rights. We see how…

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In Florence, when Lucy is trying to explain her kiss with George to Charlotte, she tries as hard as she can to be absolutely honest about everything. And throughout the novel, Lucy insists to herself that she must not lie. But, over the course of A Room with a View, simple black-and-white distinctions between truths and lies start to blur. Often, Lucy does not quite lie, but leaves out the whole truth, omits…

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Education and Independence

When the novel begins in Florence, Lucy is a young, rather naïve woman and—while she is not exactly old by the end—the novel follows her growth from a child to a more mature, independent adult. Along the way, Lucy undergoes various processes of education, as she learns more about the world, social interactions, and herself, taking lessons from her own experience as well as from other people such as Charlotte, Cecil, and George

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A Room with a View can be seen as a romance novel, revolving around the romantic plot of Lucy and her decision between George and Cecil. Through Lucy’s relationships with these two men, we see two different kinds of love. With Cecil, Lucy has a rational relationship with gradually growing affection, of which her family approves. He is from a respectable social background, and her mother is pleased at the match between Lucy and…

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Aside from the characters and plot of A Room with a View, one might first notice that Forster’s novel is filled with beautiful things. Characters gaze at Renaissance frescoes, admire springtime foliage and flowers, see the rolling hills of Italy, walk through scenic woods, and enjoy classical piano music. These aesthetic experiences—taking in artistic or natural beauty—hold an almost mystical power in the novel, often speaking to the inner feelings of characters like Lucy

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