M Forster's widely admired novel "Howard's End," provides a detailed portrayal of life in Edwardian England; a series of characters exposed as if under a literary microscope. Froster focuses on the personal relationships and interactions between his primary characters who represent the dueling and contrasting factions of the English upper classes. Throughout the novel, the readers is gradually introduced to the intricate outer and inner tensions and trappings of society which are crowding in around the Schlegel family (idealistic, intellectual), and the Wilcox family (pragmatic, materialistic aspect).
Published in 1910, the story of "Howard's End" takes place during a period of great change. The era is now associated with the birth of 'modernism'; a time of artistic and literary progression, as well as social and human transformation. .
Forster may or may not have been a modernist, but in his writing of "Howard's End," he brings the reader into a type of "limbo," toggling the text toward a point of realism, before steering in in more obvious modernist conventions. By employing the use of an omniscient and often intrusive narrator, Forster commands a narrative technique characteristic of Victorian realism; however, the interjection of free indirect discourse within the narrative shows a desire to move away from tradition, a characteristic we would associate with the emergence of modernism; therefore, we can assume that through the ambiguous nature of the narrative form, we are exposed to the authors unease with, and conflicting ideas towards the threat of modernity, not just aesthetically, but within the context of how such dramatic cultural and social upheaval may-force implications on humanity. .
Chapter nineteen includes Forster's attempt to firmly unite the Schlegel and Wilcox families; Margaret Schlegel, having accepted Henry Wilcox's marriage proposal, has enlightened her sister Helen to the news.