Howards End


E. M. Forster

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Howards End: Chapter 2 Summary & Analysis

Margaret shares Helen’s news with her aunt, Juley Munt, who is staying at the Schlegels’ home in Wickham Place to keep Margaret company while she cares for Tibby. Margaret is sympathetic to the idea of love at first sight, while Mrs. Munt considers it hasty and impractical. Margaret plans to take the train down to Howards End to talk to Helen in person, but Tibby pleads with her to stay and read to him, so she sends Mrs. Munt down in her place. Margaret drives her aunt to the train station and tells her not to mention anything to the Wilcoxes until she speaks to Helen. When Margaret returns home, she finds a telegram from Helen saying her fling with Paul is all over, but it’s too late to stop Mrs. Munt.
Margaret appears to be more rational than her sister, though she is highly sympathetic to Helen’s feelings and not critical of her judgment. The two clearly have a very close relationship, and share a romantic temperament, as opposed to the typical pragmatic attitude of the English. Their maternal aunt views them as rather unorthodox, influenced by their father’s German ancestry. Forster foreshadows the fact that Juley will thus fail to grasp the complex emotions that Margaret has sensed at play.
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