Paloma's Reviews > A Room with a View

A Room with a View by E.M. Forster
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really liked it
bookshelves: classics-20th-cent, britain-ireland, z-review

A sunny, sweet little novel about a young Englishwoman navigating Edwardian gender/class norms and learning to think for herself. Pokes fun at Victorian/Edwardian social expectations, hierarchies, and snobberies without mean-spiritedness or bitterness. Plot-wise, it's a romance - but its heart lies in the main character's growing sense of self-knowledge and self-determination.

It feels… innocent, optimistic, bright. Lays out hopes for kindness and gender equality. Laughs a bit at the motions of tourism and sightseeing, especially when performed by the sheltered. A few outrageous characters, with a few social interactions that made me laugh. Written and set in a gentle time, before the world wars changed everything.

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Reading Progress

April 10, 2015 – Started Reading
April 10, 2015 – Shelved
April 10, 2015 – Shelved as: classics-20th-cent
April 10, 2015 – Shelved as: britain-ireland
April 10, 2015 –
page 9
3.52% ""He has the merit—if it is one—of saying exactly what he means.... It is so difficult—at least, I find it difficult—to understand people who speak the truth.”"
April 10, 2015 –
page 17
6.64% ""For one ravishing moment Italy appeared. She stood in the Square of the Annunziata and saw in the living terra-cotta those divine babies whom no cheap reproduction can ever stale.... Lucy thought she had never seen anything more beautiful; but Miss Lavish, with a shriek of dismay, dragged her forward, declaring that they were out of their path now by at least a mile.""
April 10, 2015 –
page 19
7.42% ""Then the pernicious charm of Italy worked on her, and, instead of acquiring information, she began to be happy.""
April 10, 2015 –
page 25
9.77% ""We know that we come from the winds, and that we shall return to them; that all life is perhaps a knot, a tangle, a blemish in the eternal smoothness. But why should this make us unhappy? Let us rather love one another, and work and rejoice. I don’t believe in this world sorrow.""
April 10, 2015 –
page 26
10.16% ""The kingdom of music is not the kingdom of this world; it will accept those whom breeding and intellect and culture have alike rejected.""
April 10, 2015 –
page 29
11.33% "Is Mr. Beebe an author surrogate in the story? - "All his life he had loved to study maiden ladies; they were his specialty, and his profession had provided him with ample opportunities for the work. Girls like Lucy were charming to look at, but Mr. Beebe was, from rather profound reasons, somewhat chilly in his attitude towards the other sex, and preferred to be interested rather than enthralled.""
April 10, 2015 –
page 34
13.28% ""[Lucy] wanted something big... This she might not attempt. It was unladylike. Why? Why were most big things unladylike? Charlotte had once explained to her why. It was not that ladies were inferior to men; it was that they were different. Their mission was to inspire others to achievement rather than to achieve themselves... But if she rushed into the fray herself she would be... censured,... despised,... ignored.""
April 10, 2015 –
page 34
13.28% ""It is sweet to protect [the lady] in the intervals of business, sweet to pay her honour when she has cooked our dinner well. But alas! the creature grows degenerate. In her heart also there are springing up strange desires... She has marked the kingdom of this world, how full it is of wealth, and beauty, and war... she would like to drop the august title of the Eternal Woman, and go there as her transitory self.""
April 11, 2015 –
page 76
29.69% ""...Does it seem reasonable that she should play [music] so wonderfully, and live so quietly? I suspect that one day she will be wonderful in both. The water-tight compartments in her will break down, and music and life will mingle. Then we shall have her heroically good, heroically bad—too heroic, perhaps, to be good or bad.”"
April 11, 2015 –
page 88
34.38% "“I had got an idea—I dare say wrongly—that you feel more at home with me in a room... I’d rather,” he [Cecil] said reproachfully, “that you connected me with the open air.”"
April 11, 2015 –
page 91
35.55% ""Life, so far as she troubled to conceive it, was a circle of rich, pleasant people, with identical interests and identical foes. In this circle, one thought, married, and died. Outside it were poverty and vulgarity for ever trying to enter... But, in Italy... this conception of life vanished. Her senses expanded; she felt that there was no one whom she might not get to like...""
April 11, 2015 –
page 104
40.63% ""In this -- not in other things -- we men are ahead. We despise the body less than women do. But not until we are comrades shall we enter the garden.""
April 11, 2015 –
page 117
45.7% ""Life is easy to chronicle, but bewildering to practice, and we welcome 'nerves' or any other shibboleth that will cloak our personal desire.""
April 11, 2015 –
page 121
47.27% "Manages to personify an inanimate object into a kind of pet creature: "The garden of Windy Corner was deserted except for a red book, which lay sunning itself upon the gravel path... The ladies move, Mr. Beebe moves, George moves, and movement may engender shadow. But this book lies motionless, to be caressed all the morning by the sun and to raise its covers slightly, as though acknowledging the caress.""
April 11, 2015 –
page 124
48.44% "“There is a certain amount of kindness, just as there is a certain amount of light... We cast a shadow on something wherever we stand, and it is no good moving from place to place to save things; because the shadow always follows. Choose a place where you won’t do harm... and stand in it for all you are worth, facing the sunshine.”"
April 12, 2015 –
page 130
50.78% ""Views are really crowds - crowds of trees and houses and hills - and that the power they have over us is sometimes supernatural, for the same reason... For a crowd is more than the people who make it up. Something gets added to it - none knows how - just as something has got added t those hills... Also that men fall into two classes - those who forget views and those who remember them, even in small rooms.""
April 12, 2015 –
page 156
60.94% ""That there are shops abroad, even in Athens, never occurred to them [the Miss Alans], for they regarded travel as a species of warfare, only to be undertaken by those who have been fully armed at the Haymarket stores.""
April 12, 2015 –
page 157
61.33% ""She disliked confidences, for they might lead to self-knowledge and to that king of terrors - Light. Ever since that last evening at Florence she had deemed it unwise to reveal her soul.""
April 12, 2015 –
page 166
64.84% ""Life... is a public performance on the violin, in which you must learn the instrument as you go along.""
April 12, 2015 –
page 168
65.63% ""You have to go cold into a battle that needs warmth, out into the muddle that you have made yourself... Yes, for we fight for more than Love or Pleasure, there is Truth. Truth counts. Truth does count.""
April 12, 2015 – Finished Reading
October 16, 2015 – Shelved as: z-review

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