Howards End

by

E. M. Forster

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Charles Wilcox Character Analysis

Charles is the eldest child in the Wilcox family, and the most like his father, Henry. He represses emotion, disdains women, and feels entitled to wealth and modern material luxuries. He indulges his temper and his ego and attacks Leonard Bast for causing a scandal with Helen Schlegel, his sister-in-law, embarrassing the family. Charles’s assault causes Leonard to go into fatal cardiac arrest, and he is sentenced to three years in jail for manslaughter.

Charles Wilcox Quotes in Howards End

The Howards End quotes below are all either spoken by Charles Wilcox or refer to Charles Wilcox. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Class and Privilege Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Dover Thrift Editions edition of Howards End published in 2002.
Chapter 11 Quotes

They did not make the mistake of handling human affairs in the bulk, but disposed of them item by item, sharply…It is the best—perhaps the only—way of dodging emotion. They were the average human article, and had they considered the note as a whole it would have driven them miserable or mad. Considered item by item, the emotional content was minimised, and all went forward smoothly.

Related Characters: Henry Wilcox, Charles Wilcox
Related Symbols: Howards End
Page Number: 70
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 25 Quotes

[Charles] described what he believed to have happened. Albert had flattened out a cat, and Miss Schlegel had lost her nerve, as any woman might. She had been got safely into the other car, but when it was in motion had leapt out again, in spite of all that they could say. After walking a little on the road, she had calmed down and had said that she was sorry. His father accepted this explanation, and neither knew that Margaret had artfully prepared the way for it. It fitted in too well with their view of feminine nature.

Related Symbols: Cars and Walks
Page Number: 153-154
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 41 Quotes

Here men had been up since dawn. Their hours were ruled, not by a London office, but by the movements of the crops and the sun…They are England’s hope…

At the chalk pit a motor passed [Leonard]. In it was another type, whom Nature favours—the Imperial. Healthy, ever in motion, it hopes to inherit the earth. It breeds as quickly as the yeoman, and as soundly; strong is the temptation to acclaim it as a super-yeoman, who carries his country’s virtue overseas. But the Imperialist is not what he thinks or seems. He is a destroyer.

Related Characters: Leonard Bast, Charles Wilcox
Related Symbols: Cars and Walks
Page Number: 232
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 42 Quotes

“You go on as if I didn’t know my own mind,” said Mr. Wilcox fretfully. Charles hardened his mouth. “You young fellows’ one idea is to get into a motor. I tell you, I want to walk; I’m very fond of walking.”

…Charles did not like it; he was uneasy about his father, who did not seem himself this morning. There was a petulant touch about him—more like a woman. Could it be that he was growing old? The Wilcoxes were not lacking in affection; they had it royally, but they did not know how to use it.

Related Characters: Henry Wilcox (speaker), Charles Wilcox
Related Symbols: Cars and Walks
Page Number: 236
Explanation and Analysis:
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Charles Wilcox Character Timeline in Howards End

The timeline below shows where the character Charles Wilcox appears in Howards End. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
Class and Privilege Theme Icon
Capitalism Theme Icon
...for their brother, Tibby, who is suffering from hay fever. Helen writes that the Wilcox children—Charles, Evie, and Paul—and their father, Henry, all suffer from hay fever as well, but are... (full context)
Chapter 3
Class and Privilege Theme Icon
Gender Theme Icon
Mrs. Munt gets off the train, and Charles Wilcox happens to be there when she asks for Howards End. He offers to drive... (full context)
Chapter 4
Class and Privilege Theme Icon
Capitalism Theme Icon
Colonialism and Imperialism Theme Icon
...however messy, should cause such horrible “telegrams and anger” in the hands of people like Charles and Paul Wilcox. They question whether this life, “a life in which telegrams and anger... (full context)
Chapter 8
Class and Privilege Theme Icon
Capitalism Theme Icon
Gender Theme Icon
...companionable conversation. Mrs. Wilcox is lying in bed, tired out from the recent wedding of Charles and Dolly. She sounds liveliest when she talks about Howards End, which was her childhood... (full context)
Chapter 11
Capitalism Theme Icon
Gender Theme Icon
...been left on the grave and he takes one. The next morning, the grieving Wilcoxes—Henry, Charles, Dolly, and Evie—are having breakfast at Howards End. Henry reflects on Ruth’s unfailing goodness and... (full context)
Capitalism Theme Icon
Gender Theme Icon
Charles frets that Margaret could have colluded with his mother to acquire Howards End and may... (full context)
Chapter 20
Class and Privilege Theme Icon
Capitalism Theme Icon
Gender Theme Icon
...if he can help it. They settle that Henry’s money must go to his children, Charles, Evie, and Paul, foremost, while Margaret continues to live off of her own generous means.... (full context)
Chapter 21
Class and Privilege Theme Icon
Capitalism Theme Icon
Gender Theme Icon
Charles objects to the news of his father’s engagement to Margaret. He rebukes his wife, Dolly,... (full context)
Chapter 25
Class and Privilege Theme Icon
Capitalism Theme Icon
Gender Theme Icon
Like Charles, Evie was unhappy at the news that her father was engaged to Margaret Schlegel, viewing... (full context)
Gender Theme Icon
...distraught that only men have been left behind to manage the accident, and she asks Charles repeatedly to turn the car around. Charles dismisses her wishes, confident that “The men are... (full context)
Class and Privilege Theme Icon
Capitalism Theme Icon
Gender Theme Icon
When they arrive at Oniton, Charles tells Henry what happened. They agree all too easily that Margaret was simply overcome by... (full context)
Class and Privilege Theme Icon
Capitalism Theme Icon
Gender Theme Icon
While Charles speculates, he sees Margaret wander outside and happily behold her new home. She exclaims to... (full context)
Chapter 26
Class and Privilege Theme Icon
Capitalism Theme Icon
Gender Theme Icon
...and the unhurried sensibility of the country people. The morning of the wedding, she observes Charles and the other men of the house going to swim in the river. She thinks... (full context)
Class and Privilege Theme Icon
Capitalism Theme Icon
Gender Theme Icon
...have ladies walking through the Market Square,” and says they had the same problem at Charles’s wedding when Ruth Wilcox planned to walk to the chapel but was firmly deterred by... (full context)
Chapter 32
Class and Privilege Theme Icon
Capitalism Theme Icon
...pities her and has been asking Henry to help his son’s family more. Henry believes Charles must fend for himself, financially, but Charles is not the businessman his father was. He... (full context)
Chapter 37
Class and Privilege Theme Icon
Capitalism Theme Icon
Gender Theme Icon
...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... (full context)
Chapter 38
Class and Privilege Theme Icon
Gender Theme Icon
Margaret talks with Henry at Charles’s house. Henry says he told Charles about Helen and Charles has gone to talk to... (full context)
Chapter 39
Class and Privilege Theme Icon
Capitalism Theme Icon
Gender Theme Icon
Charles meets Tibby at Henry’s house in Ducie Street. Charles is badly prejudiced against Helen, stemming... (full context)
Chapter 41
Class and Privilege Theme Icon
Capitalism Theme Icon
Colonialism and Imperialism Theme Icon
Gender Theme Icon
...morning for Howards End. He walks from the Hilton train station to the house, and Charles Wilcox passes him in his car. Leonard enters the house and makes his confession to... (full context)
Chapter 42
Class and Privilege Theme Icon
Capitalism Theme Icon
Gender Theme Icon
After visiting Tibby in London, Charles returns to his house in Hilton, where Henry tells him what happened with Helen and... (full context)
Class and Privilege Theme Icon
Capitalism Theme Icon
Margaret explains that Leonard had been in the final stages of heart disease. Charles is so confident that he is not to blame for Leonard’s death that he goes... (full context)
Chapter 43
Class and Privilege Theme Icon
...Leonard died of heart disease. The police also arrive and question Margaret about Leonard and Charles. She doesn’t feel Charles to be responsible for Leonard’s heart attack in any way: “No... (full context)
Class and Privilege Theme Icon
Capitalism Theme Icon
Henry summons Margaret to Charles’s house, where she returns the keys to Howards End and tells him she is leaving... (full context)
Chapter 44
Class and Privilege Theme Icon
Capitalism Theme Icon
Colonialism and Imperialism Theme Icon
Gender Theme Icon
...if he’s going to live in London and run his father’s company. Dolly says that Charles no longer wants the house for himself or his sons, because they must move away... (full context)