At first I thought it is a love story and the man whose unbrella was taken by Helen carelessly will fall in love with one of Schlegel sisters and all of them will live in Wickham Place happily ever after. Soon I realized I must be wrong. First of all, even Jane Austen will not create a couple coming from different social status simply because at that time it is unshakable rule to marry into people's own class. Secondly, I don't think E.M Forster will write such a dull story.
Fortunately E.M Forster did not let me down. It is a lot more than a love story. It is about two different groups of people in upper class, one represented by Schlegel sisters who are honest, romantic and always think out of their own class and sensitive to lower class' pains, the other by Wilcox family who are stupid, hypocritical, contemptible, spoiled by their wealth and cruel to people in lower class. One small detail impressed me very much. when Helen stayed in Howards End, a little boy who was son of the family the Wilcoxes hired to manage the house came to ask Helen and Margaret if they need milk, Helen wispered to him: nice little boy. I say, what's your name? Mine's Helen." Here E.M Forster wrote: "That was Helen all over. The Wilcoxes , too, would ask a child its name, but they never told theirs names in return." This seemingly irrelevant detail reveals the biggest difference of the two groups: one value individual's feelings most while the other value everything other than this.
Among Schlegel sisters, Helen, apparently, is the more romantic, sensitive and impudent one, which we can tell from her strong dislike of Henry because of his relentless response to Leonard’s plight, her impudence to bring the Bast couple into Evie’s wedding without any warning and her impulse later on to have one night stand with poor Leonard which finally led to his death in Howards End. If Helen is the one with more “Sensibility”, surely Margaret is the one with more “Sense.” Margaret is the most sensible person in this story. Although she sees very clearly negative sides of people’s personality (for example Helen and Henry), she chooses to be tolerant of these flaws and are always willing to look at the positive sides. What I admire most about Margaret is “she knew her own heart with a thoroughness that commonplace people believe impossible.” She knows exactly what she wants and what makes her happy. Maybe that’s why she did not part with Henry after the “Helen incident” and chose to stay in the marriage with Helen and her baby at her side.