Howards End

by

E. M. Forster

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Howards End: Chapter 37 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Margaret apologizes to her sister for her grave betrayal of her trust. Helen explains that she plans to live in Munich and raise her child with a friend of hers, a feminist woman named Monica. She says she cannot live in England and bear the scandal. Their conversation is awkward and they have little to say to one another. Helen prepares to leave but lingers over all their old furniture. They exclaim over where it has been placed in Howards End and what fond memories it all recalls. Their sisterly love and intimacy is restored. Margaret calls Miss Avery “extraordinary” for pulling it all off and says that the old woman must have loved Ruth Wilcox enough that she could not bear to see Ruth’s house bare and unfurnished. Miss Avery’s young grandnephew, Tom, brings over some fresh milk and eggs for the house.
Margaret’s lie to her sister and Helen’s shocking pregnancy have made their interaction uncomfortable, but they are eventually able to regain their old intimacy thanks to the magic of their childhood furniture and Howards End. Miss Avery and Ruth Wilcox both demonstrate remarkable instincts for people and places, intuition tied to their land and the “steady” and “whole” vision it enables. It is a vision with an entirely different reward than Henry Wilcox’s “business mind.”  
Themes
Class and Privilege Theme Icon
Capitalism Theme Icon
Gender Theme Icon
Helen asks Margaret if they may spend one last night together in the house, fully furnished with all their belongings. Margaret doubts that Henry and Charles will agree to such a thing, but she also wants to spend a night with her sister. She leaves to ask Henry’s permission to stay overnight at Howards End, conscious that she is fulfilling Miss Avery’s recent prediction that she would soon inhabit the house again.
Helen becomes obsessed with idea of spending the night at Howards End, among the serenity of nature and the comfort of all their old furniture. Margaret is won over by the chance to spend a final magical night together, before Helen’s life changes forever. However, she imagines that Henry and Charles might be difficult to convince, now that Helen has become a social outcast in their eyes.
Themes
Class and Privilege Theme Icon
Capitalism Theme Icon
Gender Theme Icon